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Other paintings in London Gallery

Chiswick, Rangers and Marble Hill House

Madonna and Child J990106
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Madonna and Child J990106
Manchurian Crane J920149
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Manchurian Crane J920149
Chiswick House, Red Velvet Room ceiling J970259 Featured Other paintings in London Image

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

May Day J860384
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May Day J860384
Pheasant M981009
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Pheasant M981009
Hamilton - Montague family J940512 Featured Other paintings in London Image

Hamilton - Montague family J940512

MARBLE HILL HOUSE, Richmond-Upon-Thames. "Portrait of John, 2nd Duke of Montague his Wife and their Younger Daughter" circa 1730 by Gawen HAMILTON (1698-1737). The Duke of Montague (1690-1749), was married to Mary Churchill, daughter of the first Duke of Marlborough, and their youngest daughter was Lady Mary Montague

© Historic England

Leslie - Jeanie Deans Pleading with Queen Caroline J940116 Featured Other paintings in London Image

Leslie - Jeanie Deans Pleading with Queen Caroline J940116

MARBLE HILL HOUSE, Twickenham, Richmond, Middlesex. "Jeanie Deans Pleading with Queen Caroline... in the Presence of the Duke of Argyll and Lady Suffolk" by Charles Robert LESLIE (1794-1859). The painting depicts a scene from Sir Walter Scott's 1818 novel The Heart of Midlothian

© Historic England

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