English Stately Homes and Castles
Library, Great Dining Room and Sculpture Gallery
tour continues down the servants staircase to the ground
The LIBRARY is in the original Long Gallery and the gilded stucco ceiling with paintings by Verrio is all that remains of this. The Library is the work of the sixth Duke who needed space to house his growing collection of books. The gallery running round the top of the room is accessed via a secret spiral staircase hidden behind a bookcase. There is no access to the room, which is admired from the doorway.
The ANTE LIBRARY was originally a billiard room but was later fitted with bookcases to match those in the Library. It has a grand piano and a huge mirror above the fireplace. The painted ceiling is one of the newest in the house being painted in 1823 and depicts Iris presenting the wounded Venus to Mars.
This leads into the GREAT DINING ROOM, again created by the sixth Duke and was just finished in time for the visit of Princess Victoria with her mother. He also commissioned the silverware on the table. It is a sumptuous room with scarlet wall hangings and a gilded stucco ceiling. The two fireplaces have Bacchanalian figures carved on either side. Apparently the sixth Duke was disappointed by them as he wanted something a little more abandoned.
On a wall table is the Chatsworth Tazza which is one of the largest objects made from a piece of Derbyshire Blue John. On either side are Blue John vases which now act as lights which shows off he opalescence of the mineral.
Beyond are the new gallery and the Sculpture Galleries. The NEW GALLERY runs parallel with the Sculpture Gallery and has family photographs plus also ones of other famous people.
The SCULPTURE GALLERY was built by the sixth Duke to display his collection of contemporary sculpture. His original intention was to collect ancient sculpture but there was little around to buy. Instead he bought or commissioned works of modern sculpture from the leading artists of the time.
The tour now exits through the Orangery shop, again the work of the sixth Duke.
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