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Exhibitions at Harewood

Dining in Style – Victorian service in the State Dining Room

Visit Harewood to see a milliefiori service

Visitors to Harewood House this spring bank holiday (14th April – 17th April 2017) will be treated to a fantastic table display in the State Dining Room. Emulating a Victorian dinner service, the stunning table is decorated with beautiful millefiori glassware service and silver candelabra.

Daily throughout the spring bank holiday, our guides will be giving a free, introductory talk at 11:30 on food and drink for visitors in the State Floor.

About the Millefiori Service

Baccarat enamelled and gilt glass service in the Venetian-style with flower-sprays (millefiori) inset and gilt foliage. Cut star on plates, white foliage on wine glasses. Dated pre-1864 (as recorded in Hamilton Palace inventory).

The term millefiori is a combination of the Italian words “mille” (thousand) and “fiori” (flowers) used to describe a distinctive glass pattern. This flower like pattern is produced by heating a bundle of thin glass rods of different colours until the rods fuse together.  It is a term that came into common usage in the Victorian period and was included in the Oxford English Dictionary from 1849.

Visit Yorkshire to see porcelain and glassware at Harewood

This millefiori service at Harewood consists of 242 pieces: two tier centre pieces, vases and covers, tazzas, bowl, bowls on feet, small and medium plates, dishes, finger bowls, wine glasses, liqueur glasses, tumblers, water jugs and decanters.

This spring bank holiday you will see one third of the service laid out on the State Dining Room table.  The ‘service à la française’ was a style of dining popular in the Victorian period where various dishes for a meal are served at the same time, contrary to ‘service à la russe’, where dishes were brought to each guest by a footman.

On the State Dining Room table this spring you will also see sugared almonds, fruits and flavoured jellies, all common sweet treats served at a Victorian dinner party.

Below Stairs, you can see copper moulds used for jellies by 19th century chefs in the Old Kitchen.

A Unique Provenance

Tracing the provenance of items such as this service can be challenging. We found a reference in the Chesterfield House Inventory from 1920, (the London home of the 6th Earl of Harewood) as ‘coming from Hamilton Palace’.

From recent discussions with the Museum of Scotland, we know the service was originally purchased by the 11th Duke and Duchess of Hamilton for their new London townhouse before it was taken to Hamilton Palace in Scotland sometime between 1866 and 1870.

Hamilton Palace, located 10 miles from Glasgow, was seat of the Duke of Hamilton from 1642. The superb Hamilton Palace collection consisted of furniture, antiquities, fine and decorative art, and was so grand it rivaled the royal collection.

During the mid-19th century, much of the collection had to be sold due to debts of £1.5 million with the first major sale taking place in 1882.

In 1895, the 13th Duke of Hamilton, Lieutenant Alfred Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, inherited the dukedom, property and debts. These debts led to a final sale and auction which marked the ultimate dispersal of the Hamilton Palace collection in 1919.

The story doesn’t end there; the Palace itself was demolished in 1927 due to subsidence caused by coals mines owned by the Hamilton family.

Visit Leeds to see porcelain and glassware at Harewood House

This bank holiday (14th – 17th April 2017) the service is displayed as part of our year-long focus on Harewood’s Victorian history. See this service for a limited time only and enjoy all the Victorian Harewood displays throughout the House.

Best Season yet at Harewood House

Harewood House Trust Director Jane Marriott

2017 promises to be the most exciting season at Harewood House to date. Many people know Harewood for its wonderful 18th century Adam interiors, wonderful Chippendale furniture and Capability Brown landscapes and yet the Victorian story of Harewood is far less well known.

Queen Victoria came to Harewood House in 1835 as a 17 year old Princess, staying overnight in the State Bedroom and dining in the wonderful Gallery. It is therefore with great pleasure that we welcomed ITV to film their ‘Victoria’ series at Harewood last year. The series chronicles the life of Queen Victoria, starring Jenna Coleman and has been seen by over 7 million people. The House was used as a set, to recreate Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace, including the wonderful Below Stairs storyline in our kitchens.

Visit Leeds to see locations used in ITV's Victoria series

After Prince Albert’s death, Queen Victoria’s reign was characterised by rather formidable images of her in black, but the young Queen understood the importance of dress as an outward expression of her status. Very little remains of the Queen’s original dress, so the costume designers had to work with paintings and historical documents to recreate the final pieces. Set in Harewood’s beautiful Cinnamon Drawing Room and Gallery, costumes worn by Jenna Coleman as Queen Victoria and her Ladies’ in Waiting are on display. These include the dress she wore when she proposed to Prince Albert, the beautiful green shot silk dress from the opening sequence and the sumptuous Coronation Gown.

Harewood’s Victorian history is shaped by 3 other influential ladies of the time. Lady Louisa, the 3rd Countess of Harewood arrived in 1841 with a growing family of 13 children. She set about creating her vision of Harewood to make it more comfortable, efficient and fashionable using the most celebrated architect of the time, Sir Charles Barry, who had recently designed the Houses of Parliament.  Most notable of Lady Louisa’s renovations was the Terrace and as the season develops, please do come and see how the planting in the parterre creates a wonderful tapestry of colour.

Visit Leeds to see paintings of Osborne House at Harewood

Charlotte, Lady Canning, another of Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, was a renowned watercolourist, painting scenes from her travels and giving Queen Victoria lessons in watercolour painting. Harewood House owns 80 albums of her watercolours and we are delighted to have the opportunity to change this display to reflect her time in India after 1856. This will coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Independence of India, a theme which we will reflect in Gavin Fernandes’ contemporary photographs.

See rare photography at Harewood House in Yorkshire

The 5th Countess, Florence Bridgeman, arrived at Harewood towards the latter half of the Victorian period and developed a passion of photography. The notion of the snapshot was developed at the turn of the century by Kodak, as as photography was now accessible to everyone. Our wonderful collection of informal photographs capture life at Harewood, as friends and family are snapped sledging, sword fighting with sticks and balancing glasses of water on their heads whilst out on the lawn!

As the season develops, we will also spend the summer celebrating one of Queen Victoria’s favourite authors, Lewis Carroll, displaying our first edition of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and taking this as inspiration for a summer packed full of family fun activities.

I am delighted to have joined as Director, as Harewood House is clearly held very dearly in people’s hearts. As a charity it would not be possible to preserve the house, collections and grounds and tell the stories of our history, without our visitors and member’s support. We greatly appreciate that and look forward to welcoming you throughout 2017.

Harewood House Develops Exciting New Film Tourism Offer

Visit Harewood House to see ITV's Victoria costume

To coincide with English Tourism Week (25th March – 2nd April 2017), Harewood House in Yorkshire will launch an exciting series of exhibitions hoping to capitalise on the increasing demand from visitors to see film and TV locations.

Harewood House was used as a major set for ITV’s blockbuster series ‘Victoria’ and the exhibition, titled Victorian Harewood, will present an impressive collection of costumes from series one, including the iconic Coronation dress worn by actress Jenna Coleman who plays Queen Victoria. Visitors will also be able to see many of the rooms used in the series which transformed Harewood House into Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace.

‘Victoria’ has been broadcast in over 100 countries around the world, and the impact on Harewood House’s visitor figures will become clear after Harewood opens on 24th March 2017. With series two of ‘Victoria’ currently being filmed at Harewood House, David Lascelles, Earl of Harewood and fourth generation grandson of Queen Victoria, commented:

“There are always new stories to tell about Harewood and the success of ITV’s ‘Victoria’ gives us the chance to bring that era here to life – something we’ve never really done before. It’s great to be able to link a successful TV show with our own history in this way and I hope it will bring new audiences as well as giving something different for our faithful and much valued members.”

As part of Victorian Harewood, personal objects, letters and archive material from Harewood’s collection including Queen Victoria’s writing set, a pocket watch given to Victoria for her birthday from her mother and a rare book of etchings made by Victoria and Albert will be shown.

The exhibition also includes a fascinating, contemporary response by modern-day artists. The Empire Line presents contemporary photography by Gavin Fernandes, using fashion photography to look at narratives of race, culture, history and the Victorian Empire.

In addition, a selection of 21st century re-interpretations of the Victorian bust from artist Kathy Dalwood’s Secret Society series will be displayed in the China Room. Instead of sculpting in clay or stone the busts are made by direct casting from real things and found objects which are collaged together, moulded and cast in plaster.

For more information visit: www.harewood.org

Collection of etchings by Victoria and Albert go on public display for the first time

Personal etchings by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were the subject of a ground-breaking privacy court case brought by the royal couple against a journalist in 1848.

Visit Yorkshire to see rare Victorian works at Harewood House

A book of etchings belonging to Harewood House will go on display for the first time in a major exhibition titled ‘Victorian Harewood’ (24 March – 29 October 2017). The exhibition features costumes from the ITV blockbuster series ‘Victoria’, which used Harewood House as a location standing in for both Buckingham and Kensington Palaces.

Visit Harrogate to see art made by Queen Victoria at Harewood House

Gifted to Princess Mary (daughter of King George V and wife to the 6th Earl of Harewood) on her wedding day from a descendant of Prince Albert’s private secretary, the book of 75 personal etchings of the royal couple’s children, pets, and each other, feature handwritten annotations by HRH Queen Victoria. It will go on display alongside beautiful objects owned by Queen Victoria including her pocket watch and writing set.

We spent a delightful, peaceful morning – singing after breakfast, and etching together”.
Queen Victoria, Friday 28th August, 1840.

Victoria and Albert were taught to paint by legendary artists Edwin Landseer and George Hayter. In 1848 Jasper Judge, a reporter, got hold of copies of the etchings via a print maker in London and threatened to publish them.

Visit Leeds to see art works by Victoria and Albert at Harewood

Prince Albert and Queen Victoria immediately sought legal advice and launched lawsuits and injunctions attempting to ban the display and protect his family’s privacy. These actions led to the first super injunction taking place; the Prince and Queen were successful and the display and never took place. Seen as the first injunction of its kind to protect the privacy and image of a high profile person, the actions of Victoria and Albert are now familiar in today’s celebrity world.

After the case, Barrister Sir J. Knight Bruce, noted that the printmaker’s actions had been “an intrusion not alone in breach of conventional rules, but offensive to that inbred sense of propriety natural to every man – if, intrusion indeed, fitly describes a sordid spying into the privacy of domestic life – into the home (a word hitherto scared among us)”. The case remains a defining judgement in the development of the law of copyright.

Professor Ann Sumner, Historic Collections Advisor at Harewood House explains, “This book of etchings is incredibly rare. It is a beautiful and personal collection by the royal couple who were known for protecting their privacy. It shows a beautiful insight not only into the private lives of Victoria and Albert and their family, but also the real talent that they both had for art.”

Sebastiano del Piombo, ‘Portrait of a Lady’ Returns to Harewood after 40 years

Visit Harewood in Yorkshire to see renaissance works by Sebastiano-del-Piombo

Sebastiano del Piombo’s ‘Portrait of a Lady’ returns to Harewood House for the first time in over 40 years

About the Artist

The Venetian painter Sebastiano del  Piombo (1485 – 1547) probably trained under Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione. In 1511 he left Venice for Rome, where the High Renaissance was flourishing. His work was influenced initially by Raphael, but he later met and began collaborating with Michelangelo. That partnership is currently the subject of an exhibition at the National Gallery in London – Michelangelo and Sebastiano until 25 June.

About the Lady

The painting most probably represents an idealized Venetian woman. It is closely related to another work in the Museo del Arte de Cataluna, Barcelona, which differs in background details and setting. There are also two other versions closer to the Harewood original, representing St Lucy, with the eyes of the sitter reflected in the cup. The Harewood painting may represent St Lucy but there is no evidence of reflected eyes in the cup here.

It has recently been suggested that the sitter is Vittoria Colonna, a renowned writer and member of the wealthy and powerful Colonna family, shown as Artemesia, a goddess associated with death, being in mourning for her young  husband Ferrante d’Avalos, Marchese of Pescara.  He died from wounds sustained at the Battle of Pavia in 1525.  This battle was one of the most important in Italian history, as Charles V and the Spanish forces overwhelmed the French and captured Francis I, whose portrait attributed to Titian, can be seen in the Gallery at Harewood.

About the Collector

Sebastiano’s paintings were popular in Britain from the early 19th century.  Portrait of a Lady was acquired by Henry George Charles Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood, an outstanding collector of Venetian Old Master paintings and drawings in the early 20th century.  His collection was formed predominantly between the years 1917 to 1927, when he was advised by Tancred Borenius, a Finnish art historian.  The Portrait of a Lady, formerly in the collection of the Earl of Elgin of Broomhall in Fife, was an early purchase and was in the possession of Lord Lascelles by 1917, when he had the work conserved. The painting was originally hung at the Lascelles London home, Chesterfield House and, following the sale of that house, was moved to Harewood in the 1930s. By the 1950s, it hung in the Rose Drawing Room

The painting goes on display for the first time in over forty years on 24 March 2017 and has recently been especially conserved.

The National Gallery exhibition opens to the public on 15 March 2017.

Visit Harewood to see Sebastiano del Piombo art