Architectural model of Chiswick House
The Network Modelmakers
Museum no. NCOL.2-2001
The Englishman, D.H. Lawrence once remarked, only feels comfortable travelling south. This was one of the purposes of the Grand Tour: to acquaint fortunate Englishmen with the warm, comforting beauties of Italy and the Mediterranean. One result of this dalliance was the transplanting to Middlesex of architectural designs originating in the brighter light of the Veneto. Chiswick House was an addition to the Earl of Burlington's existing residence. Built in 1725-9, it was conceived as a pleasure palace as well as a souvenir. It was inspired by designs of Palladio and Scamozzi, but has more eccentricity and vigour, more barbarity (critic Ian Nairn called it 'violence') than the originals. What it represents is a wistful dream of architectural perfection, experienced abroad, transported home to be contemplated in tranquillity.
Stephen Bayley, Guest Curator