Sunday, October 19, 2008
Chatsworth: The State Music Room
As the name of this room implies, it would appear that this is the room in which to practice music or entertain on the pianoforte. Well, as it turned out, this was never the true intention of the room. Although, I am sure music has graced these walls many times. It is actually more of a dedication to the Cavendish family's traditional love of music. A beautiful working harpsichord draws everyone's attention to the center of the room. But if you just happen to look behind it, there is something more magnificent hiding behind a slightly-ajar door. It is one of the most magnificent and convincing trompe l'oeil's in history: a violin hanging from a door, painted by Jan van der Vaart. When I took my parents on a tour of this home it took me a long time to convince my father that the door was, in fact, a painting.
Another unique aspect of this room is its walls. Once again, you find yourself in a heavily guilded baroque space of ornate wall decor. But upon closer examination, youo may find that the walls are not that same wood found in the other state rooms. In fact, they are not wood paneling at all! The walls are actually stamped and guilded leather. Along the top border you can even find eight small portraits of Hart in this unique medium.