Chatsworth: English Baroque Masterpiece

Chatsworth: English Baroque Masterpiece

July 27, 2016

Home to the aristocratic Cavendish family since 1549, and passed down through 16 generations, Chatsworth House is the seat of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. 

Standing on the east bank of the River Derwent, Chatsworth looks across to the low hills that divide the Derwent and Wye valleys. The house, set in expansive parkland and backed by wooded, rocky hills rising to heather moorland, contains a unique collection of priceless paintings, furniture, Old Master drawings, neoclassical sculptures, books and other artefacts. Chatsworth has been selected as the United Kingdom's favourite country house several times.

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire. South front facade.

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire. A magnificent Hall Bench Settee by William Kent (1685-1748). This type of wooden bench and matching hall furniture were created by William Kent for the great entrance halls of the newly built Palladian mansions of the 18th century. They were the first furnishings to greet any visitor and, through the use of quality materials, skilled workmanship and exquisite design Kent was able to communicate the grandeur, wealth and taste of his patrons (Susan Weber, William Kent Designing Georgian Britain, London, 2013 p. 481).

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire. A superb carved marble baroque door surround

Chatsworth House, The Painted Hall. A superb George II period walnut and gilt armchair, c. 1730

Chatsworth House, The Gallery. Wonderful examples of William Kent furniture

Chatsworth House, The Gallery. Wonderful example of William Kent giltwood chair

Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House, the Wellington Bedroom. A superb Regency satinwood armchair, c. 1830

Chatsworth House, the Smoking Room. An imposing pair of library armchairs of the finest quality, en suite with the pair of sofas from the Painted Hall; possibly by Gillows of Lancaster.

Chatsworth House, the Gallery. A delightful brasswork detail of a fine Regency bookcase or display cabinet, c. 1810.

Chatsworth House, the Staircase. The malachite clock, a part of a suite, gift from the Russian Emperor Nicholas I. 

Chatsworth House, The Painted Hall. Detail of a superb George II period walnut and gilt armchair, c. 1730. Note the crisp carving and the well-balanced ornament.

Chatsworth House, a superbly carved overmantle, attributed to Samuel Watson (1662-1751), who worked in Gibbons's style at Chatsworth between 1691 and 1711.

Chatsworth House, a detail of superb wood carvings attributed to Samuel Watson (1662-1751), who worked in Gibbons's style at Chatsworth between 1691 and 1711.

Chatsworth House, a detail of superb wood carvings attributed to Samuel Watson (1662-1751), who worked in Gibbons's style at Chatsworth between 1691 and 1711.

Chatsworth House, a detail of superb wood carvings attributed to Samuel Watson (1662-1751), who worked in Gibbons's style at Chatsworth between 1691 and 1711.

Chatsworth House, a detail of superb wood carvings attributed to Samuel Watson (1662-1751), who worked in Gibbons's style at Chatsworth between 1691 and 1711.

Chatsworth House, a detail of superb wood carvings attributed to Samuel Watson (1662-1751), who worked in Gibbons's style at Chatsworth between 1691 and 1711.

Chatsworth House, a detail of superb wood carvings attributed to Samuel Watson (1662-1751), who worked in Gibbons's style at Chatsworth between 1691 and 1711.

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire. Superbly carved overmantle in the State Dining Room (originally the Great Chamber), attributed to Samuel Watson (1662-1751), who worked in Gibbons's style at Chatsworth between 1691 and 1711.

Chatsworth House, the State Dining Room (originally the Great Chamber). A detail of the fireplace carving, attributed to Samuel Watson (1662-1751), who worked in Gibbons's style at Chatsworth between 1691 and 1711.

Chatsworth House, a detail of superb wood carvings attributed to Samuel Watson (1662-1751), who worked in Gibbons's style at Chatsworth between 1691 and 1711.

Chatsworth House, a detail of superb wood carvings attributed to Samuel Watson (1662-1751), who worked in Gibbons's style at Chatsworth between 1691 and 1711.