(Above) Pieter Andreas Rysbrack (c.1685-1748), View of Chiswick House from the south-west. © English Heritage
English Heritage has unveiled a newly acquired painting at Chiswick House entitled ‘A view of Chiswick House from the south-west’ by the renowned Dutch landscape artist Pieter Andreas Rysbrack (c.1685-1748).
One of the eight works in the ‘Bedingfeld set’ that were originally commissioned between 1729 and 1732 by Lady Bedingfeld, sister of the 3rd Earl of Burlington (patron of Chiswick House), the painting has gone on permanent display in the Green Velvet Room at the house alongside five of the set previously acquired by English Heritage.
Since going under the hammer at Sotheby’s on June 6 2007, the painting has undergone careful cleaning and restoration at English Heritage’s conservation studio.
"When the painting came to us it was in good condition considering its age," explained English Heritage's Senior Collections Conservator (fine art), Adam Webster.
"Initial assessment revealed that the picture mostly required cleaning as the surface coating was yellowed and discoloured. Some areas had also been disfigured due to overpaint and varnish. Once this was removed the true, cool tonality of the work was returned along with the original sense of perspective.”
An important piece of artwork in its own right, this picture is particularly significant because it depicts the Old and the New House and shows the remains of the formal landscape, before it was swept away and replaced by the more naturalised style that exists today.