Saturday, 3 September 2016

Opulence

Grand staircase in the Painted Hall, which dates from the 1680s.

You were allowed to take photographs inside Chatsworth House (no tripod, no flash) so, although the weather precluded much outdoor photography, I did take a few interiors. The public rooms can best be described as opulent: dripping with priceless paintings and antiques, ceramics, gold and silverware, tapestries and exotic carpets. Quite breathtaking! Unlike a museum that gathers collections together, this is a home full of treasure that has been passed down through generations of the Cavendish family. Everything belongs to them (now leased to the Chatsworth House Trust) and has been acquired, purchased, collected and curated throughout history. Currently the display theme is 'The Grand Tour', showcasing many priceless objects collected by family members when doing their 'grand tours' of Europe - the educational rites of passage traditionally undertaken by aristocratic young men, from the late 1600s through to the advent of mass rail travel in the 1840s.

Many of the rooms are kept dark to protect the contents from damaging sunlight and to preserve the tapestries, paintings and frescoes on the walls and ceilings.

The Dining Room, dating to the era of the 6th Duke of Devonshire in the 19th century. Princess (later Queen) Victoria attended her first formal 'adult' dinner in this room, aged 13, in 1832.
The bedroom of the State Apartments, constructed in the late 17th century by the 1st Duke of Devonshire, who received the dukedom as a reward for helping to put the Protestant William of Orange on the English throne. The State Apartments were built to welcome William and Mary, though in fact they never came to visit! They are a series of five interconnecting rooms, which were designed to be used almost like a sieve for the Royal Court, so that only the closest and most esteemed people were allowed right through to the State Bedroom and State Closet.
Chatsworth's beautiful - and very cosy - library, transformed by the 6th Duke to house his huge collections of books.

8 comments:

  1. Some people live (or at least used to live) very different lives from mine!

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    1. And mine! It does make you question things - but I would hate being responsible for all that history.

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  2. Oh, my! You did a fine job of capturing that opulence with available light.

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    1. Super high ISO and liberal use of noise reduction software! They are OK on screen but would not print well.
      I'd love to hunker down on the big sofas in that library for a few hours.

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  3. These would grace any glossy brochure, jennyfreckles.

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  4. There is so much detail everywhere you look!

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  5. I've enjoyed your past posts so much I forgot to leave comments!

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