Chatsworth House | Great Apartments & State Rooms

The next part of the house that we saw was the Great Apartments and the State Drawing Room. These rooms and the ones which followed were all sealed up and had the curtains drawn so at times it got a bit stuffy for me and I think this is when my energy started to drop but I still really enjoyed it.

State Apartments & Chamber

The apartment rooms of stately homes were often made with the sole purpose of reigning monarchs staying in them when they visited. They were for the cream of the crop and not used on a daily basis but the family themselves. This also meant that the decorations, furnishings and any ornamentations in these rooms were incredibly lavish and luxurious, with the aim of also impressing those who stayed. In 1913, they were used for such a purpose when George V and Queen Mary stayed at Chatsworth.

The Great Chamber was completed in 1694 and would have been where the court would have gathered to receive the King and Queen. The panelling of this room is Limewood, containing carvings of fish and dead game. The ceiling is yet another work by Antonio Verrio, depicting the Triumph of the Virtues over the Vices.

Today the Duke and Duchess use these rooms to showcase both historic and contemporary items side-by-side such as gilded tables by Renaissance furniture makers alongside vibrant toned porcelain and ceramic vases by Pippin Drysdale. These rooms also overlook the South Lawn so the occupants would have perfect view of the Emperor Fountain and Canal Pond.

State Drawing Room

This room would have been a room where select members of the court could have spent time in. The ceiling portrays an Assembly of the Gods by Louis Laguerre, with details and scenes around the edges of the love affair between Venus & Mars, Vulcans ensuing rage upon the discovery. I have to say I love all the Greek Gods, Goddesses and mythology details – I just find it all so fascinating.

This room consists of ornate, detailed porcelain vases and other precious, worldly goods. It also houses the Mortlake Acts of the Apostle tapestries from the mid 1630s, based from designs by Raphael (1483-1520), which were reframed by the 6th Duke of Devonshire in the 1830s. These tapestries have endured a lot of pollution over time and have been the subject of considerable conservation work over the years, to repair and protect them – probably why these rooms were so stuffy and dark, in the name of protection.

State Music Room

Originally known as the Green Velvet room due to its 18th century green velvet that adorned its walls, it was replaced by gilded and stamped leather by the 6th Duke that still remains today. He also added the central door to the wall opposite the windows, which was filled by a painting, and what is considered the most famous of Chatsworth’s art in 1836. The ‘Tromph l’ceil Violin and bow hanging on the door‘ by Jan Van der Vaardt (1653-1727), is an optical illusion making the viewer question if it is an actual violin & bow or not.

The State Music Room features multiple Italian paintings passed through the generations. These include ‘Blind Belisarius Receiving Alms‘ by Luciano Borzone (1590-1645), ‘The Three Musicians‘ by Valentin de Boulogne (1591-1632), and ‘Acis and Galatea‘ by Luca Giordano (1634-1705). The latter is my favourite. A painting based on Ovids’ Metamorphoses, it depicts the sea nymph Galatea, Acis, and Polyphemus, all with cool blue tones and saturated greys which are just beyond beautiful to me.

This room is also full of furniture by, and inspired by André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732) who worked for King Louis XIV, King of France; which added to the portraits and gilded walls, creates such an air opulence to this room. This room was quite dark and stuffy like the others, so some of my photos I took appear a bit muddy and unclear in areas.

State Bedchamber

One of the most private rooms in the entire house, the first Duke spent more on this room than any other in the state apartment. This room, like the state music room had been decorated with gilded leather by the 6th Duke but has since been covered by the 17th Century Brussel tapestries which tell the story of the goddess Diana. Carrying on this theme with the goddess Diana, the ceiling is another work by Louis Laguerre and portrays Diana, goddess of night being chased away by Aurora the goddess of dawn.

The room holds the bed which once stood in Kensington Palace and is the bed in which George II passed away in. It was claimed by the 4th Duke of Devonshire, from his position as Chamberlain and has been at Chatsworth ever since. During the refurbishment in 2006-7, the bed was restored to its original height while the fabrics from it were copied for the blinds and curtains too.

As I mentioned already, my energy really started flagging around this spot so from here on out I don’t have as many photos but I will still post what I do have so stay tuned!

Cheerio for now!

*If you haven’t seen the previous posts on Chatsworth House, you can do so here.

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