Fin­ish­ing Touch


Victorian Homes - - A Manor of Speaking -

Beau­ti­ful stately homes of­ten have the most

ex­quis­ite ceil­ings, so when Alec Cobbe moved into Hatch­lands, one of the first things he no­ticed was the empty roundels in the library ceil­ing—they were cry­ing out to be filled with fine art.

The library ceil­ing was in­spired by a 17th cen­tury domed ceil­ing in the Villa Do­ria Pam­phili, Rome. Robert Adam had sketched it on his grand tour of Europe, but when Ad­mi­ral Boscawen sud­denly died, the ceil­ing re­mained un­fin­ished. This was one of the first things Alec cor­rected when he moved into the house. He painted repli­cas of the Four Con­ti­nents by An­tio­nio Zuc­chi into the roundels. He’d seen them at Hare­wood House in York­shire and ob­tained the per­mis­sion of the Earl of Hare­wood to recre­ate the im­ages at Hatch­lands.

Alec proved that you don’t need an 18th cen­tury artist to put the fin­ish­ing touches to your pe­riod ceil­ing. You just need a good idea and a tal­ented painter.

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