The Duke of Edinburgh had a life-long interest in collecting art and enjoyed painting as a pastime.
Watercolour drawings of Windsor
In 1959 Prince Philip commissioned the artist Alan Carr Linford to paint modern counterparts to some of the watercolour drawings of Windsor Castle done by Paul Sandby in about 1780.
During 1959-60 Mr. Carr Linford completed 24 new paintings, of which 12 were more or less counterparts to ones by Sandby, and 12 were new views. All the pictures are hanging in the private apartments in Windsor Castle.
Four of the pictures were seen by the public in 1961 when they were exhibited alongside their counterparts by Sandby in one of the regular drawing exhibitions at Windsor, two others were included in the travelling exhibition 'Prince Philip: A Personal Collection' in 1994-96.
In 1962 His Royal Highness commissioned the same artist to paint a series of 21 pictures of castles and residences in Germany which belonged to members of his family.
The Duke of Edinburgh's collection of paintings by Australian artists steadily grew from the time His Royal Highness first purchased a series of sixteen Aboriginal paintings by Benjamin Landara, Adolph and Clifford Inkamala, Edwin and Otto Pareroultja, Albert and Oscar Namatjira and Enoch Raberaba during his visit to Australia in 1956.
Two paintings by William Dobell, 'Beach Carnival' and 'A Country Race Meeting', were given to Prince Philip by the artist in 1961 and in 1962 Sidney Nolan's 'Strange Fruit' was presented to His Royal Highness in Perth.
Another Nolan painting 'Herd at the Waterhole' was bought by The Queen for The Duke of Edinburgh's birthday in 1963, and that same year during the tour of Australia and New Zealand Rex Battarbee's paintings 'Centralian Ghost Gum' and 'Allembe Creek Gum' were acquired.
In 1962 two paintings of Aboriginal heads by Donald Friend were purchased in Perth and in 1967 Robin Hill's watercolour 'A Kookaburra' was given to His Royal Highness. Later acquisitions include paintings by Australian artists such as Ray Crooke, David Dridan, Olga Clare Garner, Pro Hart, Clifton Pugh and Bruce Swann.
Since 1958 The Duke of Edinburgh bought pictures from the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Academy.
With the original intention of finding paintings to enliven the private rooms at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, His Royal Highness over the years acquired an extensive collection of pictures by modern Scottish artists such as Mary Armour, Barbara Balmer, Elizabeth Blackadder, Victoria Crowe, Marysia Donaldson, Alexander Goudie, Tom Hutcheson, Norman Kirkham, James Morrison, James Orr, J. McIntosh Patrick, Sir Robin Philipson and Barbara Rae.
In 1956-57 Prince Philip invited the artist Edward Seago to accompany his party during his voyage in HM Yacht Britannia to the Antarctic, the South Atlantic and the Gambia.
Over sixty oil paintings were given to His Royal Highness after the trip and many of these are hanging at Balmoral. Subsequently Prince Philip collected some Antarctic paintings by Keith Shackleton and David Smith.
The Duke of Edinburgh had a particular interest in drawings and paintings of birds and possessed examples of the work of such artists as Axel Amuchastegui, Robert Bateman, Terence Bond, Keith Brockie, John Busby, Basil Ede, Emma Faull, Spencer Hodge, Fritz Hug, J. Fenwick Lansdowne, Janet Marsh, Rodger McPhail, Peter Paillou, Auguste Pelletier, James Renny, Sir Peter Scott, Terence Shortt, R. B. Talbot Kelly, Archibald Thorburn and Edouard Travies.
Prince Philip frequently added to a large collection of cartoons, mostly from newspapers, which he acquired over the years.
Many of these feature His Royal Highness and Royal events such as the 1977 Jubilee celebrations and are mostly hung in Sandringham House.