20 Facts About Chiswick House


Chiswick House is a Neo-Palladian style villa in the Chiswick district of London, England.

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Original Chiswick House was a Jacobean house owned by Sir Edward Wardour, and possibly built by his father.

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Chiswick House had not closely inspected Roman ruins or made detailed drawings on the sites in Italy; he relied on Palladio and Scamozzi as his interpreters of the classic tradition.

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Chiswick House's regularly invited members of the Whig party to the house for tea parties in the garden.

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Chiswick House was an attempt by Lord Burlington to create a Roman villa, rather than a Renaissance pastiche, situated in a symbolic Roman garden.

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Chiswick House Villa is inspired in part by several buildings of the 16th-century Italian architects Andrea Palladio and his assistant Vincenzo Scamozzi.

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Chiswick House owned books by influential Italian Renaissance architects such as Sebastiano Serlio and Leon Battista Alberti, and his library contained books by French architects, sculptors, illustrators and architectural theorists like Jean Cotelle, Philibert de l'Orme, Abraham Bosse, Jean Bullant, Salomon de Caus, Roland Freart de Chambray, Hugues Sambin, Antoine Desgodetz, and John James's translation of Claude Perrault's Treatise of the Five Orders.

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Possibly the most influential building reconstructed by Palladio and used at Chiswick House was the monumental Roman Baths of Diocletian: references to this building can be found in the Domed Hall, Gallery, Library and Link rooms.

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However, the decorative cornice at Chiswick House was derived from a contemporary source, that of James Gibbs's cornice at the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London.

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Chiswick House when built was described by John, Lord Hervey as "Too small to live in, and too big to hang to a watch".

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Gardens at Chiswick House were an attempt to symbolically recreate a garden of ancient Rome; these were believed to have followed the form of the gardens of Greece.

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Gardens at Chiswick House were originally of a standard Jacobean design, but from the 1720s they were in a constant state of transition.

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The first architect of the gardens at Chiswick House appears to have been the king's gardener, Charles Bridgeman, who was believed to have worked on the gardens with Lord Burlington around 1720, and subsequently with William Kent, whom Lord Burlington had brought back with him on his return from his second Grand Tour in 1719.

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Gardens at Chiswick House were filled with fabriques which illustrated Lord Burlington's knowledge of Roman, Greek, Egyptian and Renaissance architecture, and statues and architecture which expressed his Whig ideals.

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Lord Burlington's garden at Chiswick House was one of the first to include garden buildings and ancient statues which were to symbolically evoke the mood and appearance of ancient Rome.

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Lord Burlington's gardens at Chiswick had a number of these fabriques including the Ionic Temple, Bagnio, Pagan Temple, Rustic House, and two Deer Houses.

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Unlike Stowe, with its Temple of Worthies and busts such as the Black Prince, Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare, Burlington's gardens at Chiswick House did not romance or mythologise England's illustrious past.

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Lord Burlington's gardens at Chiswick House were one of the most painted of English gardens in the 18th century.

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Chiswick House has been linked with Freemasonry, and is believed by some scholars to have functioned as a private Masonic Lodge or Temple, given that many of the ceiling paintings by William Kent in the Gallery and the Red, Blue and Summer Parlour Rooms contain iconography of a strong Masonic, Hermetic, and possible Jacobite character.

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Pat Rogers has argued that Chiswick House was a symbolic temple, based on so-called Royal Arch Freemasonry, involving a Hermetic intervention designed to heal the sufferings of the exiled Jews.

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