Saturday, 2 January 2016

Burghley House collection

Burghley House, the great Elizabethan prodigy house built for William Cecil outside Stamford, Lincolnshire, has an amazing mainly baroque picture collection, mostly  purchased in the 17th century by Lord Burghley's heirs the Earls of Exeter.

The Burghley art collection is now viewable online - which is often preferable to viewing in situ where works may be hung high or in poorly-lit corners - and contains several Adoration of the Magi images,
including an early work on copper by Ventura Salimbeni 

plus this by Giacinto Gimignani  (no, me neither)  

  these after Rubens and Carlo Dolci 


and this later image attributed to a painter in the circle of Jan van Haensbergen, where the European Magi have come on horseback and the African on a camel:
Other items of note are the portrait of (probably) the 5th Countess, with her brother and a kneeling pageboy,  

by miniaturist Nicholas Dixon, dated to 1668

finally, this exquisitely worked bust of A Moor, decorated with enamel and precious stones,   from around 1600

The turban feathers and the whole plinth were added later, so that it was described in a 1690 inventory as 'A moore's head cutt out of an olive stone [it is in fact agate] with pearle, rubies and diamonds'.

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