Art lovers, rejoice! Some of the finest works of art from the noble Midlands estate have crossed the Atlantic as part of an exhibit at Sotheby’s. If you’re in New York City this summer, don’t miss this rare opportunity to behold 45 master works from this magnificent English country house.
The Baroque Chatsworth House is not only renowned for its breathtaking beauty, but the private estate is also an art lovers’ paradise. Managed by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the Midlands attraction is open to the public, where guided tours will take you through 30 rooms inside the mansion. Wander through chambers like the Painted Hall with its grand staircase and frescoes painted by Antonio Verrio. Walk past the jaw-dropping marble statues in the Sculpture Gallery or gaze at the marvelous trompe l’oeil painting of a violin by Jan van der Vaardt.
Built by the Cavendish family in the mid-1500s, the estate holds one of the most significant art collections in Europe, including works by the Old Masters, artefacts from Ancient Egypt, modern sculpture, and even digitalized portraits. The amazement doesn’t stop when you exit through the gift shop: the outdoor premises are an extension of the art gallery, with sculptures dotting the sweeping landscape, further embellished by lush gardens, pools, fountains, and a labyrinth of hedges. It’s no wonder that this legendary estate was featured in period films such as Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan.
Having assumed management of the estate from his father in 2004, Stoker Devonshire is the 12th duke to inhabit the mansion. Together with his wife, Amanda, the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire have continued the tradition of nurturing the family art collection, bringing their own artistic tastes to Chatsworth House. Known for their hospitality while opening their estate to the public, the gesture allows us to appreciate the grace of those who share their art (rather than smuggling it away in a yacht).
Helming 500 years of art collection acquired by his ancestors, the Duke also commissions art and has added modern work such as a DNA wall by Jacob van der Beugel—an entire wall of ceramics that captures the mitochondrial DNA of the Duke and Duchess’s son and daughter-in-law, redefining the concept of “portrait.” Sculptures such as a two-dimensional giant pink high heel by Michael Craig-Martin adorn the terrace. There’s always something new to see as the collection is ever-evolving, and it will be passed on to future generations.
With great excitement, we look forward to the Chatsworth Exhibit at Sotheby’s in New York. “This will be a lovely opportunity to show people over here what we’re up to,” quipped the Duke. Running from June 28 to September 18, precious artworks such as Leda and the Swan by Leonardo da Vinci have been delicately delivered to U.S. shores. (It is extremely uncommon to show the drawings of Old Masters as their fragile nature can only withstand three months of exhibition before they need to be stored in darkness to recover for the next three years.)
Creative director David Korins, the award-winning set designer for Broadway’s Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen, has thrillingly staged the 45 works as an immersive event. Step foot inside this exhibit, and get an up-close view of what it’s actually like to be wandering the premises of the Chatsworth estate. (And if the exhibit leaves you famished for a spot of tea, Sant Ambroeus is on the ground floor, too.)
Experience the charm of Chatsworth House, sure to turn art collection into a contagion. And how could we not fall for the English sense of grandeur? To get the look for your own abode, we selected some of these finds from Sotheby’s Home to give your rooms the royal touch:
Henri Dasson Inset Commode
Our finds begin with this head-turning commode, with bronze chiseling that echoes the style of 19th-century Parisian cabinet-maker and bronze sculptor Henri Dasson.
Dramatic Wall Covering
19th-Century Rococo-Style Aubusson LandscapeTapestry
This sepia-toned tapestry is exemplary of a centuries-old European tradition, with its gently fading landscape evoking a love of nature.
Late 19th-Century Louis XVI-Style Gilt Bronze Mounted Marble Urns
These rouge marble and bronze urns define “classic,” enrobed in regal garlands and goat heads.
Rococo-Style Unique Gilt Bronze Wall Sconces
This set of four bronze sconces transports the atmosphere with their soft candlelit glow.
Late 19th-Century Baccarat Doré Chandelier
Toast the Art de Vivre with your guests under this opulent crystal and doré bronze chandelier.
Early-20th Century Regency-Style Double Pedestal Partners Desk
Imbue your study with wanderlust straight from the Regency period.
Late 18th-Century Upholstered French Canapé
This canapé has been dressed up in a sensational hot pink linen upholstery, promising hours of the most intimate gossip.
Fit For Versailles
Late-19th Century Louis XIV-Style Parclose Mirrors
Reflect your space in Sun King style with these stunning parclose mirrors sporting gilded frames and etched glass.
Shop these swoon-worthy pieces and others curated on Sotheby’s Home. And immerse your senses in the “Treasures from Chatsworth” exhibit at Sotheby’s in New York from June 28 through September 18, free and open to the public. Reserve your tickets here!