Monday, 5 September 2016

Treasure house

Chatsworth House is chock full of treasures; the largest and most significant art collection in Britain apart from the Royal Collection. Much of it dates back centuries, although the current Duke and his more recent forebears have continued to commission and invest in contemporary art so that there are modern paintings and sculptures dotted around.

The gilded bronze statue, above, is a work by Damien Hirst: St Bartholomew, Exquisite Pain. Holding scissors and a scalpel, the figure has his flayed skin draped over his arm.

There are a number of paintings by Lucian Freud (1922-2011), who was a friend of the 11th Duke and painted many Cavendish family members over a period of about 20 years. (Apologies for the harsh reflection on the glass).

 I liked this painting by the Flemish painter, Cornelis de Vos (1585-1651): a portrait of the artist's daughter.

I was also astonished and intrigued by the marble sculpture below, by Raffaelle Monti (1818-1881). 'The Veiled Vestal' (Virgin) was commissioned by the 6th Duke and features Monti's trademark illusionistic veil. It looks for all the world like a piece of gauze thrown across the statue but is in fact an integral part of the marble carving.


  1. Hi Jenny - fascinating selection of statues and art works you've given us ... I hope to get to Chatsworth sometime ... Damien Hirst's sculpture reminded me of Verity looking over Ilfracombe harbour. Brilliant photos - cheers Hilary

  2. That is an amazing marble sculpture!

  3. The St. B statue is beautifully executed but totally gives me the creeps. The marble veil -- just gorgeous!

  4. The Monti one is my favourite. Wow!

    Hirst did an exhibit some time back at our National Gallery.


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