Thursday, 22 May 2014

Chatsworth - some of the paintings

The highlight of our stay in Derbyshire earlier this month was a long awaited visit to Chatsworth House, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
I'm not going to attempt to relate Chatsworth's history here on my blog as I'm sure you know there have been many books written about the house and it's occupants and this link to the wonderful Chatsworth website will tell you everything you could possibly want to know about what's happening there at the moment.
What I will share with you are photographs of some of the absolutely stunning works of art that we were able to see on our recent guided tour.

The tour began in the Painted Hall.

Perhaps the most famous (infamous) chatelaine of Chatsworth was Lady Georgiana Spencer who married the 5th Duke, William Cavendish in 1774.

Portrait of Georgiana Spencer
Duchess of Devonshire 
Maria Cosway 1759- 1838

 Georgiana was 25 years old 
when this portrait of her portrayed as the goddess Diana 
was painted in 1782

The Duchess of Devonshire
Thomas Gainsborough

William Cavendish
the 5th Duke of Devonshire
Georgiana's husband

Lady Elizabeth Foster
Joshua Reynolds

Lady Elizabeth was Georgiana's best friend, she was also the Duke's lover and the three of them lived together at Devonshire House. Elizabeth bore him two children and became his second wife after Georgiana's death.
Since visiting Chatsworth I have become fascinated by Georgiana and am thoroughly enjoying reading "Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire" by Amanda Foreman.

All of Chatsworth's rooms are sumptuously decorated and furnished, the collections on display are jaw droppingly beautiful, as the above photograph shows.

An inlaid wall panel surrounds a portrait of a gentleman.

In the library a whimsical portrait of two of the current Duchess's pet dogs.

A man in oriental costume
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606 - 1669)

The oak staircase 

Portrait of the Acheson Sisters (1902)
John Singer Sargent

These three elegant Edwardian ladies are the granddaughters of Louise, Duchess of Devonshire; wife of the 8th Duke.

As it began, our tour ends in The Painted Hall, but fret not there's so much more to see: ceramics; furniture and statues......oh my!


  1. Isn't it a wonderful place? It was one of the highlights of my visit to Derbyshire nearly two years ago. Overwhelming! Were you also able to visit Haddon Hall? I found it fascinating. Thanks for the lovely reminder!

  2. I can't imagine living with such sumptuous art every day. What a lovely collection. I read a biography of Georgina several years ago and thought her life very sad.

  3. WEll, I'll have to read about it now. I can't imagine the art, splendid. So glad you were there. xo Jenny

  4. I want so very much to go here, most of all the ancestral homes. Two bits -- I'm not sure (I really should look this up before I comment) but I believe Georgina Spencer (which you showed painted as Diana) is a long-ago ancestor of the Princess of Wales. Now I'm on a mission to check that out or to stand corrected!

    Also, if you haven't read it, Deborah Mitford's biography (which I have posted on my blog many moons ago but the title escapes me) is a fascinating look at all things Mitford and then Devonshire, particularly the period during which the home was turned into an attraction to help with costs. It's a fascinating book and highly recommended!

  5. Maggie, Diana is Georgina's great-great-great grandniece. Here's a great article from The Telegraph that chronicles their many similarities.

  6. Such beauty. Your are very lucky to be staying there and I and glad that you are sharing with us.

  7. Oh my! Finding you at Bev's Pink Saturday and just loving Chatsworth House - yes - I'd love a tour myself. Your world in Normandy sounds glorious! Just love all the charm of the landscape. These paintings are stunning - I could get lost in them and their stories. The pink on the statues was a bit much, though - but fun for a short time of whimsy, I suppose.
    Joy to you!
    Kathy at The Writer's Reverie


Thanks for stopping by, your visit just made my day!