What’s on : Lectures
Wentworth Woodhouse: New evidence concerning the design and furnishing of the Yorkshire ‘Palace’
by Peter Brown MBE, FSA
Described by Nicholas Pevsner as ‘the finest Georgian Mansion in Great Britain with exceptional interiors’, he gives no clue to why these interior spaces deserved such an accolade?
With the tremendous help of those at Sheffield Archive, who hold a large collection of inventories, papers, drawings and invoices relating to the Mansion, together with others at the Warburg Institute, Sir John Soane Museum, the RIBA library and those in the Society of Antiquaries library, the resultant investigation has revealed a wealth of design sources, inspiration and correspondence that shed new light on this question.
Lecture to be held in the Tempest Anderson Lecture Theatre, Yorkshire Museum,
YO1 7DR at 2.30pm
Image: Creative Commons
Wentworth Woodhouse has been a YPS favourite: there was a visit (2014), a virtual tour (2021) and a lecture on its archives 2020. This lecture was by and for the enthusiast of country houses and their interiors.
The immense Palladian east façade was built in sandstone in 1731-1750 with designs by such architects as Ralph Tunnicliffe, Henry Flitcroft and John Carr. Every interior across the 606 foot width of the facade was examined in detail: its ceiling decoration, fireplaces, and each roundel, lunette, panel and painting. Designers included John Fisher and John Carr of York, Joseph Nollekens, and others. The sources and inspiration for the art work came from the various owners’ Grand Tours of Italy, and the themes of Bacchus, Apollo and Diana and Hercules feature widely in the interiors. The collections included one original and many copies of classical Roman sculptures and paintings by Baroque artists like Reni. Rosa and Carracci. There were also family portraits by Van Dyck and Reynolds. Some paintings remain but many were sold, among them Stubbs’ ‘Whistleiacket’, now in the National Gallery. A catalogue of the pictures was created in 1870 showing all 258 paintings, illustrated in miniature, to scale, and in their original location, a uniquely interesting document.