This is up close and personal looks at the fine art, décor, and antiquities as they meet Baroque architecture, kingly landscapes, and historical dwellings. It an excellent docent narration by Selina Scott, making the education of some of the most elaborate Britain fine homes a pure bit of bliss. Close-ups are almost like holding the items, and helicopter views of the grounds are something only a DVD like this can give you--well, unless you are as rich as the people who built these mansions.
5 delightful homes, one per episode with
SUBTITLES available & "Behind the Architectural Styles" text bonus, plus a 22 min featurette (also with SDH subtitles). And a viewer's guide if you yet want to learn more.
1 BURGHLEY HOUSE: Cecils of Burghley, treasure collections since 1500s & England's most famous Elizabethan house. Sir William Cecil builder/architect. See Antonio Verrio's "A Vision of Hell" (17th cent) & Heaven room (the artist's masterpiece.) Wedding gift from Cosimo di Medici of a marble cabi9net, marble sculptures back to roman art, A Queen Elizabeth I portrait, & Henry VIII portrait (Eliz father) a portrait well known. Capability Brown, architect, rebuilt the roofline and landscape. Victoria (as princess), 1844 as Queen visited. Too much to list.
2 CHATSWORTH: Cavendish (mid 16th) supported Wm III. Capability Brown's landscape lives on here as well, with visitors welcome since 18th cent. Louis Laguerre's painted ceiling is unchanged. Suites built for a King went royally unused, but still ready. Verrio joined Laguerre in ceilings, Samuel Watson carved Baroque elaborateness. See works of Van Dyke, Thomas Gainsborough, Reynolds, Architect Wyattville, and a 120 yr perfectly preserved private theatre by Wm Helmsley. A gravity fed fountain, WOW.
3 BLENHEIM PALACE: Winston Churchill's birthplace, built for the man who won the 1704 Battle of Blenheim, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, defeating Louis XIV. English Baroque perfection by Nicholas Hawksmoor and John Vanbrugh. 15 yr and contains Grinling Gibbons carving, Laguerre ceilings, battle tapestries, Capability Brown landscape, and completed with the home's Willis pipe organ, which provides music through the tour.
4 HOLKHAM HALL: Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leichester, took a 6 yr. Grand Tour ending in 1718. Purchases yet hosed at Holkham. A Palladian mansion, Marble Hall of Roman style in alabaster from Derbyshire. Wm Kent orig architect. Saloon filled with Peter Paul Rubens & Anthony Van Dyck. Many secret doors, 25,000 acres, and the Earl's portrait by Gainsborough.
A good companion DVD for this episode is Brian Sewell's Grand Tour of Italy, see where the Earl toured for 6 years since most of his tour was Italy.
5 BOUGHTON HOUSE: English Versailles, Ralph Montague, former Fr. Ambassador, inherited the Northamptonshire house filling it with art & treasures of France. 40, yes I meant to say 40, Anthony Van Dycks. Also Gainsborough and so many more. Wm III would visit in 1694 and nothing has changed sine then. See England's first parquet floor. Large armory too, including an early gatling gun.
History, Fine Arts, Architecture, Travel, Antiques, all reasons for this to be in a home, public, or educational (HS to Univ) library.