Robert Adam’s triumph, the most exquisite room in all England, is the Pink Room at Osterley Park in Middlesex. The tapestries were woven to Adam’s order by Jacques Neilson, director of the Gobelin works in Paris. On the walls, large gold medallions frame paintings of the loves of the gods, executed from designs by Boucher; the vases and garlands in intervening spaces follow designs of the flower painter Maurice Jacques. The sofa and armchairs were all created by Adam at his peak of refined delicacy. It has been many years since anyone actually sat in them.

— but then the room when I saw it had subdued lighting to protect the Gobelin tapestries, specially commissioned for Osterley. The tapestries had motifs relating to the owners of Osterley woven into the fabric. Thus Mrs Child’s exotic collection of animals, such as a porcupine, is featured in the tapestry in much the same was as the Courtaulds celebrated their pet ring tailed lemur in the decoration at Eltham Palace. The gilt chairs are also covered in tapestry from the Gobelin factory but this time using a design meant originally solely for Madame de Pompadour, the French king’s mistress. I find such tapestries with their twee figures, overuse of garlands and the colour pink leaves me as cold as Horace Walpole felt when encountering the Etruscan Room for the first time.—Read More:

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