Architecture

Chevening

FORTHCOMING OCT 2017

Chevening

Paperback, 242 x 212 mm, 96 pages, 100 colour illus.
PRICE: £25.00
ISBN: 978 1 911300 11 3

 

By Julius Bryant

A hugely welcome new introduction to the handsome architecture, splendid decoration, notable collections and glorious gardens of Chevening, the grand country residence used for several decades by Britain’s Foreign Secretary. 

Chevening stands in a magnificent park below the wooded escarpment of the North Downs in Kent. It has a history dating back around 800 years, but the Chevening we see today we see today is almost entirely the creation of seven generations of the Stanhope family, building on the original Inigo Jones house of 1630. For 250 years the Stanhopes served their country as soldiers and statesmen, and at Chevening as patrons of architecture and art. This new guide highlights the contributions of the Earls and Countesses Stanhope to the building, furniture, pictures, gardens and landscape of Chevening. It also gives a short account of the family in the wider world in order to set their creations in context. 

The decoration and architectural features of each of the rooms – from the Entrance Hall with its spectacular swirling staircase of c. 1721 to the sumptuous Tapestry Room with its rare Berlin tapestries woven by Huguenot craftsmen in 1708 – are described and illustrated, and significant and unusual works of art highlighted, such as important portraits by Allan Ramsay, Thomas Gainsborough, and Sir Thomas Lawrence.

The Estate consists of some 3,000 acres, and the gardens include a lake, maze, parterre and a double-walled hexagonal kitchen garden. The history of the garden is explored, from the extensive landscaping in the formal style by the 1st and 2nd Earls in the early 18th century, to the naturalistic style created in 1775–78 – much of the character of which survives today – to the re-formalizing in the 19th century, with the creation of the ‘Italian’ gardens, a maze and hedged allées. The wonderful restoration of recent decades and the replanting to the designs of Elizabeth Banks is celebrated with new photography. 

Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Chevening Act coming into effect with the death of the last Earl Stanhope and the 300th anniversary of his family’s acquisition of the Chevening estate.


Tombs of Paradise: The Shah-e Zende in Samarkand and Architectural Ceramics of Central Asia

The necropolis of Shah-e Zende at Samarkand represents a summit in the art of ceramic wall coverings in the Islamic world. Few studies have focused on the funerary ensemble of the Shah-e Zende and this is the first to describe these monuments in all the details of their decoration and its techniques and motifs, as well as the different types of ceramics used and their composition. Perched on a steep cliff overlooking the ancient city of Samarkand, today the ghost town of Afrasiyab, the necropolis remains largely unknown to art historians and certainly to the public. More

The Science of Saving Venice OUT-OF-STOCK

The lagoon in which the city of Venice rises is no more than a few thousand years old - not much older than the city itself. And it may not last another hundred, such is the damage that not only the city but also the lagoon have suffered during the twentieth century. This book succinctly examines the severe threat from human intervention and incursions on the one hand and on the other from climate change and natural erosion, and the oprions for the future. More

The Comfort of The Past: Building in Oxford and Beyond 1815–2015

This groundbreaking architectural history of modern Oxford examines the stylistic dictates and historicizing whims of academic and civic patrons since 1815, demonstrating how they invariably eschewed the radical and cutting-edge in favour of ‘the comfort of the past’, using traditional idioms which lent the client status and reassurance. More

John Betjeman: A Passion for Architecture OUT OF PRINT

The architectural writings, recordings and films of the poet Sir John Betjeman (1906-1984) are here celebrated in this catalogue accompanying a major exhibition at Sir John Soane's Museum. Marking the centenary of Betjeman's birth, the catalogue and exhibitions will bring together rare archive material, both photographic and textual, in celebration of his life-long passion for architecture. More

Raymond Erith

OUT OF PRINT “I am not a modernist but ... I agree with the modernists in every way except that I think their brand of modernism is not very good.” Raymond Erith looked to achieve what he called the true “economy of means”, using traditional means to create original buildings with progressive ideas behind them. More

Brooks's 1764–2014: The Story of a Whig Club

To celebrate Brooks’s 250th anniversary, this beautiful commemorative volume looks afresh at some historical aspects and the architecture of the Whig club, and presents much original research, including essays on the club’s archives – among the most complete in Clubland – and an illustrated catalogue of the important collection of paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints, including the pictures on loan from the Society of Dilettanti. More

Vartan of Nazareth: Missionary and Medical Pioneer in the Nineteenth-century Middle East

Vartan of Nazareth: Missionary and Medical Pioneer in the Nineteenth-century Middle East, is the little-known story of a medical pioneer and missionary who founded a hospital in Nazareth 150 years ago. This book traces the remarkable life of Pacradooni Kaloost Vartan, the son of a poor Armenian tailor in Constatinople (modern day Istanbul). Born in 1835 at a time of great change in the Ottoman Empire, the young Vartan attended the first American missionary school in the imperial city. He left school to join the British Army as an interpreter in the Crimea and, having witnessed the rigours of battlefield medicine, he was drawn to a career as a surgeon and physician. More

Lalibela: Wonder of Ethiopia: The Monolithic Churches and their Treasures

The Unesco World Heritage site of Lalibela in Ethiopia is one of the most extraordinary places in the world. It contains eleven churches, all of them hewn from the native rock in imitation of buildings. However, Lalibela and the Ethiopian kingdom remained unknown in the West until the account of the first Portugese embassy to Ethiopia was published in the 16th century. More

The Image of Venice: Fialetti's View and Sir Henry Wotton

The city of Venice holds a special place in the global imagination. This book explores the creation of one of its largest surviving depictions, which has remained almost unknown to the wider public since its creation exactly four centuries ago. Signed and dated 1611, the painting is the work of a notable early seventeenth- century Bolognese artist, Odoardo Fialetti. His huge bird’s-eye view of the watery townscape is enlivened by first-hand observation of tiny vignettes of Venetian life. Eight square metres in size, this remarkable painting is a tour-de-force among depictions of cities. More

Venice: Extraordinary Maintenance

This book presents an overview of the restoration Venice has undergone in the last two hundred years. It is a mistake to think that Venice has been preserved in aspic. A great deal changed after the Fall of the Republic in 1797, and continues to change. Having read this book, you will never look upon Venice’s streets, houses and canals in the same way again. More

Building a Crossing Tower: A Design for Rouen Cathedral of 1516

Prompted by the recent discovery of an impressive three-metre tall late Gothic drawing of a soaring tower and spire, this book offers a rare insight into the processes of designing and building a major Gothic project. The drawing’s place and date of creation are unknown, and it corresponds to no surviving Gothic tower. Equally mysterious is the three-quarter, top-down perspective from which the tower is represented, without parallel in any other medieval drawings. Who drew this? When? And what did he hope to convey with his choice of a top-down representation of the tower? Building a Crossing Tower explores these questions, and uncovers the dramatic circumstances in which this drawing was created. More

Russia: A World Apart

A haunting evocation of the ruined country estates of the Russian aristocracy of the 18th and 19th centuries. Revolution, civil war, invasion, anarchy and casual indifference have conspired against many of the grand buildings of Russia’s rich and complex past. While the architectural riches of Moscow and St Petersburg still exist for everyone to see, when the photographer Simon Marsden and author Duncan McLaren entered the Russian countryside, away from the obvious tourist trails, they encountered a very different world... More

Lucca Encounters the World

Lucca's location has meant the city has always been able to adapt itself to the various historical cycles. Though undoubtedly affected by the spirit of each age, Lucca's culture and institutions remain deeply rooted in the traditions and character of its people. More