The Granary Art Gallery at Weston Park, on the Shropshire-Staffordshire border, is exhibiting a rare portrait of the Gothic novelist Horace Walpole.
On loan from a private collection, the portrait was painted by the famous chronicler of civil and not-so-civil society William Hogarth, who captured the famous novelist as a frock-coated ten-year-old boy gesturing elegantly beside a sundial as his spaniel skips in the foreground.
Evidently even at this tender age the son of the then Prime Minister Sir Hugh Walpole was already a colourful character.
Walpole Jnr went on to become one of the most interesting personalities of the 18th century – as an eminent collector, man of letters, author of the Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto and architect of the flamboyant Gothic villa, Strawberry Hill in Twickenham.
Horace Walpole by William Hogarth will be on display at the Granary Art Gallery at Weston-under-Lizard, near Shifnal, Shropshire, until January 2011. Admission free, gallery open 11am – 4pm.