View of Longleat

  • About the work

    This view of Longleat was probably commissioned by Sir Thomas Thynne. In ‘The Artist and the Country House (1979), John Harris writes:

    ‘[Thynne] was obviously an important early patron of Siberechts as he commissioned this view in 1675 soon after his arrival from Holland. In fact it is unprecedented for a patron to order no less than three versions of the same view. The first was in 1675, the second in 1676 (Longleat House, Wiltshire), and the third in 1678. The painter shows Longleat as a great Elizabethan house and at a moment when it had been receiving minor alterations to its exterior and probably to its interior as well. The parterres had been swept away, and, unusual for so grand a house, replaced by simple grassed enclosures with the park pressing in on all sides. A mark of Siberechts’s accuracy can be judged by the growth of creepers on the house walls in the interval between 1675 and 1678. We can also observe that the south garden wall has received an iron palisade.’

  • About the artist
    Jan Siberechts, Flemish painter of landscape in oil and watercolour, was baptised in Antwerp, where his father was a sculptor. He settled in England in around 1672, and remained in the country until his death. He developed a Flemish landscape style, and in England he perfected a type of country-house portrait and made some remarkable bird’s-eye views of country estates.
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  • Details
    Title
    View of Longleat
    Date
    1678
    Medium
    Oil on canvas
    Dimensions
    height: 122.00 cm, width: 169.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from William Hallsborough Ltd, May 1959
    Inscription
    sdc
    Provenance
    With William Hallsborough Ltd. by 1957, from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in 1959
    GAC number
    4959