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Drama, Intrigue and Obsession

Harewood House launches new exhibition in 2014As part of the Yorkshire Festival, Harewood is launching a sensational new display throughout the House this Easter. In Pursuit of the Exquisite: Royal Sèvres, from Versailles to Harewood features the delicate and highly prized Sèvres porcelain collected by Edward ‘Beau’ Lascelles.  These extraordinary pieces survived the downfall of their original owners, the tumult of the French Revolution and the difficult journey from Versailles to Harewood.

This exquisite porcelain was obsessively collected by aristocratic and royal patrons, including the ill-fated King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette.  After their executions, works from the Royal Palaces at Versailles were sold, and many of the finest pieces found their way to England. Edward, Viscount Lascelles (1764 – 1814) was one of several British collectors who acquired works along with the fashionable Prince Regent, later King George IV.

Known as ‘Beau’, Edward was among London’s most avid collectors. He had an eye for beautiful objects and a bank balance to support his expensive taste. 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of his death and In Pursuit of the Exquisite is a fitting tribute to a great collector of Sèvres and an early patron of British watercolourists, including JMW Turner and Thomas Girtin whose work is also now on display in the House.

Anna Dewsnap, Head of House and Collections said, “We are delighted that the distinguished Sèvres scholar Dame Rosalind Savill has worked with Harewood to curate this wonderful exhibition. We look forward to welcoming visitors to the House.”

Lady Harewood said, “Harewood’s world renowned collection of Sevres has never before been displayed in it’s entirety.  These exquisite pieces celebrate the extraordinary skill and achievement of the many individuals who have worked for Sevres over the past 200 years.  With over a 100 pieces on display In Pursuit of the Exquisite is not to be missed.”

Alongside the Sèvres exhibition, work from three contemporary artists make connections between the past and present. In the Terrace Gallery, Dan Scott explores the poignant life of Queen Marie Antoinette through video and sound, creating new works which examine the idea of objects as silent witnesses. Below Stairs in the China Cupboards, Michelle Taylor and Livia Marin delicately transform everyday china into unique artworks.