Grinling Gibbons - The Painter in Wood at Petworth

Carved Room at Petworth House

With photographs by Peter Thuring and beginning of Saturday 4 May, see this extended photographic display that highlights some of the wood carvings by Grinling Gibbons.

The Carved Room remains one of the most remarkable features of Petworth House. Yet it is quite different to the original room commissioned by the Duke and Duchess of Somerset in the early 1690s and devised by Grinling Gibbons (1648-1721), Britain’s greatest woodcarver. Gibbons was born and trained in Holland and took his place amongst a formidable team of artists and craftsmen who worked at Petworth having previously been employed by William III and Mary II.

A Dutch woodcarver himself, the photographer Peter Thuring has long been fascinated by Gibbons’ carvings at Petworth.

Using a scaffold, lighting and a 5x4" plate camera Thuring has taken photographs of the carvings similar to how they were intended to be seen when Grinling first completed the commission.

Peter Thuring at work for the Grinling Gibbons photographic display

When carved these carvings would have been a light cream but over time Gibbons' carvings have discoloured. Thuring has used black and white film to eliminate this from the aged lime-wood.

Extending from Thuring's display as part of the Prized Possesions exhibition during the winter of 2018 that celebrated Dutch art, Thuring is displaying more of his photographic works of the Carved Room in the Servants' Quarters Gallery.