Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 118; The Wolfson Gallery

This object consists of 2 parts, some of which may be located elsewhere.

Decorative painting for Kedleston Hall

Painting
1759-1760 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Agostino Brunias, sometimes anglicised in Augustin Brunais (active 1758-1779) was probably born in Rome where he was a student at the Academia de San Luca. He work with Robert Adam in England in the 1760s and travelled to the West Indies in 1770. He is best known for his drawings that constitute an important record of life in the Lesser Antilles in the second half of the 18th century.

This painting is part of a set of five paintings commissioned to Agostino Brunias by Robert Adam to decorate the Breakfast Room at Kedleston Hall. Adam executed the design and Brunias was entrusted with the execution of the painting. It shows two women, probably vestals or ancient priestesses, in classical dress in a landscape, one standing, one seated, each side of an hour-glass shaped altar with a sacrificial fire. This painting imitates classical mural decoration which came into fashion at the end of the 18th century.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Decorative Painting
  • Frame
Materials and Techniques
tempera on canvas
Brief Description
Decorative painting, in the manner of Roman fresco, for the Breakfast Room at Kedleston Hall, painted by Agostino Brunias, in a gilt frame carved by Sefferin Alken, after designs by Robert Adam, 1759-1760.
Physical Description
Decorative painting, in the style of a Roman fresco, for the Breakfast Room at Kedleston Hall. It depicts two women in classical dress in a landscape, either side of an hourglass-shaped altar with a sacrificial fire.
Dimensions
  • With frame height: 117.6cm
  • Width: 129.4cm
Object history
Purchased, 1975.
Association
Summary
Agostino Brunias, sometimes anglicised in Augustin Brunais (active 1758-1779) was probably born in Rome where he was a student at the Academia de San Luca. He work with Robert Adam in England in the 1760s and travelled to the West Indies in 1770. He is best known for his drawings that constitute an important record of life in the Lesser Antilles in the second half of the 18th century.



This painting is part of a set of five paintings commissioned to Agostino Brunias by Robert Adam to decorate the Breakfast Room at Kedleston Hall. Adam executed the design and Brunias was entrusted with the execution of the painting. It shows two women, probably vestals or ancient priestesses, in classical dress in a landscape, one standing, one seated, each side of an hour-glass shaped altar with a sacrificial fire. This painting imitates classical mural decoration which came into fashion at the end of the 18th century.
Bibliographic Reference
L. Harris, Robert Adam and Kedleston : the making of a neo-classical masterpiece, London, 1987, pp. 52-54.
Collection
Accession Number
W.40:1, 2-1975

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record createdMay 10, 2002
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