The Long Gallery, Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire

The Long Gallery, Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire



David Cox (1783-1859)
The Long Gallery, Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire

Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour
29 by 40 cm., 11 ¼ by 15 ½ in.

Berwick House, Shropshire

Hardwick Hall, built during the 1590s by Robert Smythson for Bess, Countess of Shrewsbury, was one of Cox's favourite subjects, along with Haddon Hall and Bolsover Castle, both also in Derbyshire. Inspired by the romanticism of the Elizabethan architecture, he made a number of visits to Hardwick, including an extended visit in 1838 and was such a familiar figure that the staff knew him by name. Many of his watercolours of Hardwick, such as the present work, show figures in 17th Century costume. There are three watercolours of the Long Gallery, Hardwick in the collection at Chatsworth House (see Scott Wilcox, Sun, Wind, and Rain - The Art of David Cox, 2008, pp.26-27, ill.).

Cox remarked on the fine collection of paintings at Hardwick, and it is possible to identify many of the paintings that Cox has rapidly sketched including, `The Five Eldest Children of King Charles I', after Sir Anthony van Dyck (top centre), `Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), aged 89', manner of John Michael Wright (lower centre), `Thomas Bruce, 3rd Lord Bruce of Kinloss, 1st Earl of Elgin', after Daniel Mytens the elder (top left, right hand side), `Colonel, The Hon. John Russell', attributed to Johann Kerseboom (bottom left, right hand side).