Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire
Dyrham Park is home to three of the 125 treasures, including a perspective painting by Samuel van Hoogstraten, considered this artist’s masterpiece. Hoogstraten was famed for his ‘trompe-l’oeil’ pictures, meaning ‘deceives the eye’.
Kingston Lacy, Dorset
Kingston Lacy is home to seven of the 125 treasures. It's no suprise that this treasure house of extraordinary art with interiors inspired by Venetian palaces features so often in the book, as Kingston Lacy is home to one of the National Trust’s most important art collections. Rubens, Titian and Sebastiano are among the great Western artists whose works decorate the walls.
Jean de Planche binding, 1565
The binding of this book is one of the most remarkable to be executed in England in the 16th century. It's the work of Jean de Planche, a Huguenot immigrant binder from Dijon who worked in London from 1567 until at least 1575. Eight bindings by de Planche are known, but this is perhaps his masterpiece.
The binding was probably made for Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal under Elizabeth I, for it is his armorial device that adorns the front cover. Bacon’s family motto ‘Mediocra firma’ ('the middle ground is safe') appears on the back cover.
The book itself is the encyclopaedic ‘Theatrum vitae humanae’ by the Swiss physician and humanist scholar Theodor Zwinger. An enormous volume of 1,400 pages, it's perhaps the most comprehensive gathering of sources to be compiled by a single individual in the early modern period.
Buckland Abbey, Devon
A self-portrait, previously doubted as being a genuine Rembrandt, was scientifically verified as being from the Dutch Old Master’s own hand in 2014. One of the most famous artists of all time, Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69) repeatedly used his own face to practise and demonstrate his craft. This one was painted in 1635, when he had recently moved from Leiden to Amsterdam and begun a successful career.
This jewel in the South West is home to three treasures from the book 125 Tresures from the Collections of the National Trust. A leaming gilt-bronze bust of King Charles I, a marble statue of Hercules, and the most significant example of Italian pietre dure cabinet-making in Britain.
Two treasures featured in the book are from Saltram, including one of the most important carpets owned by the National Trust. This fine Axminster was designed by the celebrated architect Robert Adam (1728–92) to reflect the plasterwork celling, creating an elegant and harmonious effect.
Where else will you find treasures in the South West?
Eight other special places in the South West feature in 125 Tresures from the Collections of the National Trust:
- Bath Assembly Rooms
- Lacock Abbey
- Montacute House