« PreviousContinue »
THE SEAT OF HIS GRACE
THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH.
With a Catalogue of the
A DESCRIPTION OF THE
. ITAPESTRY, PAINTINGS, GARDENS, PARK, &c.
THE Castle of BLENHEIM, the seat of his Grace the Duke of MARLBOROUGH, is situated west of Woodstock, a market and borough town, about seven miles and a half from Oxford.
From the town we enter the Park through a spacious portal of the Corinthian order; from whence a noble prospect is opened to the Castle, the Bridge, the Lake with its Valley, and other beautiful scenes of the Park. The House in particular, which we survey from this point, obliquely, is probably no where viewed to greater advantage.
The front is 348 feet from wing to wing, and consists of a variety of architecture, designed by Sir John Vanbrugh. On the pediment of the south front towards the garden is a noble busto, larger than the life, of Louis XIV. taken from the gates of Tournay.
We enter the house on the east, through a portal built in the style of martial architecture, on the top of which is a reservoir, which supplies the house with water from the river. This leads us into a quadrangle chiefly consisting of arcades and offices. From hence we pass into the grand area.
Through the superb portico elevated on massy columns we enter
This magnificent room is of the height of the house, and of a proportionable breadth. It is supported by Corinthian pillars.
Over the door going into the Saloon.
A Bust of John Duke of Marlborough.
Two Statues in Bronze, viz. The Venus of Medicis, and the Faun, both from the originals in marble in the Duke of Tuscany's collection at Florence, and executed by Max. Soldani Benzi, at Florence, 1711.
Above, upon the right and left, are several marble Termini, with two excellent Statues of a Nymph and a Bacchanal.
The Ceiling, painted by Sir James Thornhill, allegc-rically represents Victory crowning John Duke of Marlborough, and pointing to a plan of the Battle of Blenheim.
The Bow-Window Room. From the Hall, we proceed along a Gallery to the Bow-Window Room. The famous Battle of Blenheim is pourtrayed in the tapestry on the right at entrance, and occupies a considerable space. The principal action is confined to the taking of Marshal Tallard. The Battle of Wynendael is represented in the Tapestry on the left. Over the first door is St. Jerome studying, very fine, by Giorgioni. Over the chimney, a most capital original picture, by Raphael, of the Virgin and Child, St. John and St. Nicholas, formerly belonging to the Capella degli Ansidei at Perrugia. On a Pannel to the right. A fine Head after An. Caracci, by Sir Joshua Reynolds.
A Head of Lady Anne Churchill, by Sir Godfrey Kneller.
A small Picture of the Assumption, by Tintoret. A female Head, by Reubens. Two Monkies in the habit of Monks, by Teniers. A Madona and Child, by Leonardo da Vinci. Over the second door are two Nymphs, by an uncertain master.
Between two beautiful fluted Corinthian pillars, another portrait of Lady Anne Churchill, by Kneller.
A small pendent Cabinet, with a miniature Painting, by Lady Clifden. On the next Pannel. A Man's Head, unknown, by Titian. A beautiful Etching of a Wood Nymph, by the Princess Royal; given to her Grace the Duchess of Marlborough, by her Royal Highness.
An allegorical original Drawing, by Cipriani, intended as a frontispiece to the second volume of the Gemmae Marlburienses.
Between the opposite Pillart. A Portrait of Prince Eugene. An elegant Engraving of the Marquis of Tavistock, Father to the present Duke of Bedford, by Watson. On the next Pannel.
A Man's Head, unknown, by Holbein.
An Etching, by the Princess Royal.
An original Drawing, by Cipriani,—the frontispiece to the first volume of the Gemmae Marlburienses: the subject from Pliny's Nat. Hist.
Over the third door, a Battle Piece, by Wovermans. In the Duke's Dressing Room The Paintings are, Venus and Adonis, by an uncertain Artist; a Magdalen, by young Palma; our Saviour in the Virgin's lap, by Titian; St. Mark writing his Gospel, by old Palma; Inside View of a Church, by Steenwyck; a Spanish Sea-Port, by Weenix; Destruction of Pharaoh and his Host, by old Frank; two Beggar Boys, by Murillio; Esther and Ahasuerus, by Paul Veronese; three Beggar Boys, by Murillio; a Holy Family, by Reubens; Charles Earl of Sunderland, by Kneller; George I. by an unknown Artist; sleeping Venus and Satyr, from the School of Reubens; a View of Althorpe, the seat of Earl Spencer, by Tilleman. The East Drawing Room. Over the door going in from the Dressing Room is a Holy Family. The Marchioness de Havre; the Duchess of Buckingham and her Children; and Mary of Medicis, all by Vandyck. An oval Portrait of King William III. by Sir G. Kneller; Death of the Virgin Mary, by Guido; a Holy Family, by Vandyck; an Annunciation, by Corregio; an oval Portrait of Lady Chesterfield, by Vandyck; a Whole-length of Philip II. of Spain, by Ti