Chatsworth, Arcadia, Now – John-Paul Stonard
Having visited Chatsworth for the first time this year I am now a fully signed up fan of the house and estate. Yes, it is huge and yes, it is a display of wealth but it also a house that is not preserved in aspic. It is a house where you can get a sense of the present-day occupants still being interested in the house and garden themselves but also in the art that they both have and the collection that they are adding to with interesting contemporary works. The current generation of the Cavendish family to live there is the sixteenth generation to do so; the fairly recent completion of some major works to the house itself, a project called the Masterplan, has resulted in both the re-gilding of all of the windows on the South and West fronts and the cleaning of all of the stonework so that it looks as crisp as the day in which it was cut.
As these works came to an end the family invited John-Paul Stonard to tell the story of the house. He does that in this book via 7 essays that trace the history of the house going backwards from today to Bess of Hardwick’s original Chatsworth, completed in 1577.
The book design and photography by Victoria Hely-Hutchinson are both sumptuous and stylish. They give access to the private side of the house and artworks such as a collection of Lucien Freud paintings that are not on view to the public.
A great book for those who are already fans of Chatsworth and those who have yet to be won over by it.
Hardback. 416 pages
20.4cm x 30.9cm x 4cm