The son of one of the wealthiest merchant bankers in Europe, Thomas Hope (1769-1831) was a major catalyst in the arts of Regency England. At the age of 18, he embarked on a Grand Tour to the Continent that lasted nearly ten years. While travelling, he started to assemble a remarkable art collection that accompanied him to London when he and his family fled Holland following the French invasion of 1794, and that he would continue to develop thereafter. Hope installed his collection in the extraordinary interior of his Duchess Street house in the centre of London, which he extended and remodeled. Its interior decoration fostered the design which became known as the Regency style: a fascinating amalgam of decorative details, ornament, and influences from Antiquity and British and Continental European art, architecture, and design. This book is the most comprehensive study to date of Thomas Hope, focusing on his multifaceted role as designer, collector and patron. The contributors examine his wide-ranging and intriguing contribution to the arts as well as his extensive writings. Richly illustrated with new photographs, the volume presents a vast array of paintings, furniture, sculpture, and works of art, many of which have never been published before. Published in association with The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture. Exhibition schedule: Thomas Hope: Regency Designer, Victoria & Albert Museum, London (March 21 June 2008); The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, New York City (opens 17 July 2008).