Jan Siberechts’ painting ‘View of Longleat’ features in the British Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of a long-term loan.
Jan Siberechts, View of Longleat, 1678
About the painting
Purchased by the Government Art Collection in 1959, this elegant view of Longleat shows the earliest Elizabethan country house in England. Longleat was built for John Thynne and was completed in 1580. Only the Great Hall today retains its Elizabethan appearance. The interiors of the state rooms were made for the fourth marquess of Bath, who in the 1870s attempted to turn his English Renaissance house into an Italian Renaissance palace. The park was landscaped by Capability Brown and the lakes were formed from the stream which gave the house its name: the Long Leat.
Siberechts’ view was painted during the time of Sir Thomas Thynne (1647-1682). He was an English politician and an important patron of Jan Siberechts and commissioned this view in 1675, soon after the artist’s arrival from Holland. Thynne commissioned three versions of the same view between 1675 and 1678.
Who was Jan Siberechts?
Born in Antwerp in 1627, Jan Siberechts was a Flemish painter specialising in landscapes. He settled in England in around 1672, and remained in the country until his death in 1703. It was in England that he perfected his characteristic style of producing remarkable bird’s eye views of country estates.
Victoria and Albert Museum
London, SW7 2RL
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