Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hardwick Hall February 27

Magnificent Elizabethan Hardwick Hall on a sunny day.  Also known as "Malfoy Manor" from the Harry Potter movies.

"Hardwick Hall, More Glass than Wall." 
  Chimneys were inserted into the walls to allow for more window space.  

Home of Bess Hardwick, second only to Queen Elizabeth 1 in richest women of the day. Married four times.  Who seemed to devote every detail of the home's interiors to the eventual day when Queen Elizabeth would pay her a visit.  It never happened.  It advertises Bess's loyalty and fidelity to the Queen.  As you get closer to the building the strange crenellated forms along the roof which look like shards left by a shelling that somehow left the building itself intact--resolve themselves into Bess's initials, a shout-out to Elizabeth the Queen.

Parts of a beautiful frieze featuring Diana, Goddess of the Hunt and ubiquitous stags, the Hardwick coat-of-arms.

It is perhaps fitting, given Bess's patience and perseverance in waiting for Elizabeth the Queen (not to mention real poignancy) that "The embroidered panel (below) tells the story of Penelope, the loyal wife of Ulysses, who remained faithful to her husband during the ten years it took him to return from the Trojan war. To Penelope's right is Perseverans, holding an eagle that is striving to reach the sun and on her left is Paciens with a lamb reaching up to her."

Click here to visit a blog about conserving Hardwick tapestries "View from My Attic" written by a newly-minted conservator at Hardwick Hall.
Over and over again you are reminded that this is indeed the "Finest needlework collection in the UK."

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