‘Chapter 3: The Discovery of the Baroque Wall Paintings in the East Staircase.’

Clarricoates, Rhiannon (2018) ‘Chapter 3: The Discovery of the Baroque Wall Paintings in the East Staircase.’. In: Stowe House: Saving An Architectural Masterpiece. Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers Ltd, pp. 115-119. ISBN 978-1-78551-111-0

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Following the conservation of a painted ceiling above the East Staircase at Stowe House, a limited investigative study of the cornice and walls was carried out, during which time a scheme of nationally-significant grisaille wall paintings was discovered, dating from c1740. There is no existing record of these paintings and they were believed to have been destroyed at some time between 1798 and 1838. The paintings are thought to be authored by the little-known Venetian artist, Francesco Sleter (1685-1775). This chapter chronicles the fieldwork carried out to determine the extent of the surviving scheme, as well as to establish its composition, through cross-sectional analysis and targeted uncovering trials. An additional investigation into the architectural paint finishes within the East Staircase and upper landing helped to establish the chronological development of the space and its relationship with the adjoining landing. The discovery of this scheme of paintings not only alters our perception of the space, but also offers an increased understanding of its physical history and attribution. The study also examined the ethical and practical implications of uncovering the paintings.

Keywords:Baroque, wall paintings, Francesco Sleter, Stowe House, Discovery
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V360 History of Architecture
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K250 Conservation of Buildings
W Creative Arts and Design > W160 Fine Art Conservation
W Creative Arts and Design > W190 Fine Art not elsewhere classified
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V143 Modern History 1700-1799
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
ID Code:31944
Deposited On:25 Oct 2018 09:27

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