The good homes of England didn’t spring ‘absolutely armed’ from architects’ drawing boards; they advanced, as successive homeowners usually modified plans, demolished completed parts and rebuilt in new types, in accordance with the vagaries of style and household fortunes. Harewood Home, within the West Using of Yorkshire, isn’t any exception.
Edwin Lascelles, a politician and landowner, started constructing Harewood Home in 1759, having inherited a considerable fortune from his father who had grown wealthy from commerce in Barbados. He selected the south-facing slope, commanding a broad sweep of the West Using; he not solely had a eager eye for romantic surroundings, but in addition for good drainage and water provide. To start with, Harewood Home was an 18th-century English adaptation of the type conceived by the Sixteenth-century Venetian, Andrea Palladio.
Lascelles gave the work to John Carr of York and whereas Carr was first constructing the stables, Lascelles confirmed Carr’s drawings for the home to Robert Adam, who was bent on imbuing English architecture together with his personal neoclassical imaginative and prescient. When it got here to the outside, Lascelles warned Adam in opposition to extravagance, but Adam was given free rein inside, and his hand might be seen in all places.
The various splendour of Adam’s ornamental scheme is evident in the principle rooms: from the martial Roman severity of the Doric Entrance Corridor and Corinthian civility of the Library to the magnificent Gallery. Extending over the entire west finish of the home, the 77-feet-long Gallery was impressed by the ruins of Palmyra, Syria.
The plasterwork-embellished ceiling has painted insets picked out in pink and Prussian blue to focus on Biagio Rebecca’s mythological work. The Gallery additionally exhibits off two of Harewood’s excellent options: the Italian masterpieces and a set of Chippendale trying glasses.
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When engaged on the home’s inside, Adam selected a considered set of painters, stuccoists and cabinetmakers that included Thomas Chippendale, from close by Otley. Chippendale’s work at Harewood Home is of nice significance.
His best-known items are right here and reveal the vary and scope of his oeuvre – from the beechwood chairs within the Entrance Corridor and carved and painted trompe l’oeil pelmets within the Gallery to the State Mattress, which was the most costly of its sort when it was made within the 1790s.
It price £250 with additional prices for the hangings (£150), for the yellow silk damask hangings (£50) and pair of gilded cornices (£26). This mixture of Adam’s ornamental scheme and Lascelles’ robust will made Harewood a home that was – and nonetheless is – admired far and huge.
Although the home was regularly modernised (with piped water and water closets – mahogany for the gentry and oak for the servants), there have been few artwork acquisitions, till a curious coincidence enlarged Harewood’s assortment considerably. In the course of the First World Warfare, the sixth Earl, Henry Lascelles, who was serving within the Grenadier Guards, ran into his infamous great-uncle Lord Clanricarde on the St James’s Membership.
Out of excellent manners, Lascelles went to speak to him for an hour earlier than luncheon. Just a few months later, his great-uncle died and left his £2.5 million fortune, the derelict Portamac Fortress in County Galway and his assortment of Italian and Flemish Previous Masters to Henry.
Along with his new-found wealth, Henry added Italian masterpieces by the likes of Bellini, Titian, Veronese, Pollaiuolo and Tintoretto to his assortment, which turned one of many most interesting in personal fingers in England.
At the moment, the home is the household seat of the eighth Earl and Countess of Harewood. David, the eighth Earl, is a movie and TV producer whose credit embrace Inspector Morse, and whereas Harewood could have narrowly missed out on being Downton Abbey, the home has not too long ago been the backdrop to the ITV collection Victoria.
It’s an applicable setting provided that Harewood was visited by the actual Princess Victoria in 1835 earlier than her coronation. ‘I hope that hundreds of thousands of individuals will watch the collection and say, “I’d wish to go and see that”,’ says David. As a result of, as he explains, the problem to Harewood is threefold: ‘retaining it alive, retaining it related and retaining it solvent.’
With this in thoughts, the 2017 everlasting exhibition on the home celebrates the filming of Victoria at Harewood – that includes costumes from the drama and reveals together with private gadgets owned by Queen Victoria herself.
The Countess of Harewood, Diane Lascelles, can be effectively often known as artist Diane Howse, and retains the home related and alive with a programme of exhibitions of primarily up to date artwork within the Terrace Gallery. ‘I dislike the phrase ‘heritage’, as if Harewood is preserved in aspic,’ she says. ‘Dwelling right here it isn’t about sustaining a way of life; my precept is that the home is for the general public to take pleasure in.’