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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

Rysbrack - A View of Chiswick House K070015 Featured Chiswick House Print

Rysbrack - A View of Chiswick House K070015

CHISWICK HOUSE, London. "A View of Chiswick House from the South-West" 1729-1732 by Pieter Andreas RYSBRACK (c.1685- 1748). After treatment. Painting purchased in 2007 with support from National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), The London Historic House Museums Trust, The Art Fund, Friends of Chiswick House and private individuals

© Historic England

Chiswick House N071021 Featured Chiswick House Print

Chiswick House N071021

CHISWICK HOUSE AND GARDENS, London. A view of the trees and urns lining the garden footpath with the north front of the house in the background

© Historic England

Garden, Georgian, Tree