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Chiswick House Gallery

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Chiswick House in Sights can be found in London, England, United Kingdom in Europe

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Chiswick House, Red Velvet Room ceiling J970259 Featured Chiswick House Print

Chiswick House, Red Velvet Room ceiling J970259

CHISWICK HOUSE, London. Interior. View of the ceiling in the Red Velvet Room.
The ceiling is inset with painted panels attributed to William Kent and has usually been interpreted as an allegory of the Arts. The panels around the edge, for example, incorporate musical instruments, portrait roundels of gods and goddesses (Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mars, Diana and Apollo) and their appropriate Zodiac signs. In the central panel the messenger god Mercury hovers above a stone arch, below which is a group of figures with further emblems of the visual arts: Architecture is represented by a bare-chested woman with a set square and a cherub with a plan of a Roman temple, Sculpture by a fallen bust of Inigo Jones, and Painting by a woman unveiling a self-portrait of Kent.
The radical alternative interpretation of this symbolism is that it alludes to the ritual of the Royal Arch masonic lodge. Red is the Royal Arch colour, so the red velvet on the walls is symbolic, as is the red drape which is being removed to reveal Kent's portrait in the ceiling. The traditional implements of the architect and sculptor, depicted in the ceiling, are likewise masonic emblems, while the combination of an arch below a rainbow which occurs in the ceiling painting was apparently a common subject of early Royal Arch lodge banners. The suggestion, therefore, is that this room could have been designed by Burlington and Kent - both of whom were certainly freemasons - to function as a masonic meeting place

© Jeremy Young

The new Bagnio in the Gardens at Chiswick House, from Vitruvius Britannicus Featured Chiswick House Print

The new Bagnio in the Gardens at Chiswick House, from Vitruvius Britannicus

1280622 The new Bagnio in the Gardens at Chiswick House, from Vitruvius Britannicus or The British Architect by Colen Campbell (engraving) by English School, (18th century); Collection of the Duke of Devonshire, Chatsworth House, UK; (add.info.: after D. I. Thornell.
Colen Campbell (1676?1729) Scottish architect and architectural writer, credited as a founder of the Georgian style); Reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trustees; © Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth; English, out of copyright

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The great obelisk, near the south-west entrance to Lord Burlingtons Chiswick Villa Featured Chiswick House Print

The great obelisk, near the south-west entrance to Lord Burlingtons Chiswick Villa

449330 The great obelisk, near the south-west entrance to Lord Burlington's Chiswick Villa (pen & ink with wash on paper) by Rigaud, Jacques (1681-1754); 29.7x50.8 cm; Collection of the Duke of Devonshire, Chatsworth House, UK; (add.info.: Chiswick House is a Palladian villa in Burlington Lane, Chiswick. Arguably the finest remaining example of Neo-Palladian architecture in London, the house was designed by Lord Burlington, and completed in 1729. The house and gardens, which occupy 26.33 hectares (65.1 acres), mainly created by architect and landscape designer William Kent, is one of the earliest examples of the English landscape garden.); Reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trustees; © Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth; French, out of copyright

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