Town & Coun­try

Country Life Every Week - - Contents -

SANDYCOMBE LODGE, the Thames-side villa de­signed by J. M. W. Turner, has now been re­opened to the pub­lic, fol­low­ing a £2.4 mil­lion con­ser­va­tion pro­gramme with monies from the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund and other donors.

Built in Twick­en­ham in 1813 to the artist’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions, it was a peace­ful re­treat for him and he lived there with his father un­til 1826. More re­cently, Grade Ii*-listed Sandycombe Lodge was un­der the own­er­ship of Prof Harold Liver­more. When he died in 2010, he gifted the house to the na­tion. By 2013, its fab­ric was badly de­te­ri­o­rated and it was listed on His­toric Eng­land’s Build­ings at Risk reg­is­ter; in 2016, con­ser­va­tion work be­gan.

Us­ing Turner’s sketches, a William Havell draw­ing of 1814, ar­chi­tec­tural ev­i­dence and paint anal­y­sis, the Turner’s House Trust has re­turned the house to its orig­i­nal form and dec­o­ra­tion as closely as pos­si­ble. In one in­stance, a frag­ment of early wall­pa­per was dis­cov­ered in the wallspace of a first­floor cor­ri­dor, from which Robert We­ston re-cre­ated the de­sign in the large bed­room and the re­fur­bish­ment of the coloured-glass lay­light above the stairs by Holy Well Glass is par­tic­u­larly strik­ing.

A brick ex­te­rior has been re­in­stated, which may be a sur­prise to those fa­mil­iar with the house’s pre­vi­ous white ren­der; the dis­cov­ery of the orig­i­nal flank walls of the main block, hid­den for al­most 200 years, came as a sur­prise to But­ler He­garty Ar­chi­tects, too.

Sev­eral Turner prints have now been hung in the house, some from the late pro­fes­sor’s col­lec­tion. Land­scap­ing and plant­ing is un­der way in the gar­den and is ex­pected to be com­pleted in Septem­ber—although there is no pos­si­bil­ity of restor­ing the ru­ral sur­round­ings of the early 19th cen­tury, there will be a flavour of the tran­quil­ity Turner and his father en­joyed.

Fur­ther fin­ish­ing touches en­hance the il­lu­sion, with a tele­scope in the artist’s bed­room and a view su­per­im­posed on the Lit­tle Par­lour win­dow pre­sent­ing the land­scape as he would have seen it.

‘This lit­tle house is of world­wide im­por­tance as a work by Turner and, af­ter a huge amount of work and a large num­ber of spe­cial­ists, we think what we have man­aged to achieve is ab­so­lutely re­mark­able,’ says Cather­ine Par­ry­wing­field, chair­man of the trust.

Alex Far­quhar­son, direc­tor of Tate Bri­tain, adds: ‘Turner’s paint­ings and draw­ings housed at Tate Bri­tain show what this great artist pro­duced through­out his pro­lific life­time, but the Lodge will re­veal a more in­ti­mate and do­mes­tic side of his im­por­tant and com­plex story… [pro­vid­ing] a fas­ci­nat­ing in­sight into his life and throw­ing light on his char­ac­ter, fam­ily and friends.’

Havell’s draw­ing of Sandycombe Lodge (above

left), the villa de­signed by J. M. W. Turner

(above right) which has been re­stored and re­opened to the pub­lic

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.