The Lansdowne House drawing room at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Lansdowne House drawing room at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

August 13, 2019

Two years ago we enjoyed a tour of Philadelphia Museum of Art, of which the centrepiece was, undoubtedly, the Lansdowne House drawing room, designed by Robert Adam in the 1760s. The room was acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1931, when the front of the house, was demolished. The dining room was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Brilliant colours and 'Etruscan' decoration, used by Adam in this design, were newly fashionable in the 1760s. Such a bright and refined interior conveyed not only the wealth of the owners, but also their great taste.

 

We loved the bold contrast of these vivid colours, with this intricate decoration and scenes from classical antiquity, painted by Giovanni Battista Cipriani, and by Antonio Zucchi. Interestingly, the gilded accents were made by Joseph Perfetti, Italian, active in London from 1760 - 1778.

 

Lord Shelburne used the drawing room to display his important collection of paintings and antique sculpture as well as to entertain many of the most brilliant men of the age. Britain's prime minister in 1782-83, he helped negotiate the treaty that ended the American Revolution and was created 1st Marquis of Lansdowne for his services.

 

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