A personal encounter in the Upper Clifton Maybank Corridor

through door

The Upper Clifton Maybank Corridor on the first floor is the new location for some of the full-length National Portrait paintings that were previously hanging in the Long Gallery.

The darkened space of the corridor, with more dramatic lighting, provides the opportunity for people to view the paintings in a very different way. 

Full-length portraiture became increasingly popular in the late 16th century as a means of displaying social status. The more intimate space means visitors can have a personal encounter with elite courtiers who are flaunting their wealth and status through lavish clothing and jewels.

It's an unusual opportunity to examine the smallest of details, from the brush-strokes that colour a face to the vibrant pigments used to highlight a jewel.

The portraits have been moved from the Long Gallery so that it can be opened up to let in the light and enjoyed as Edward Phelips, the builder of Montacute House, originally intended.