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Print - The Plans, Elevations, And Sections: Chimney-Pieces, and Cielings [sic] of Houghton in Norfolk; Built by the Rt. Honourable Sr. Robert Walpole...
  • The Plans, Elevations, And Sections: Chimney-Pieces, and Cielings [sic] of Houghton in Norfolk
    Fourdrinier, Paul, born 1720 - died 1758
  • Enlarge image

The Plans, Elevations, And Sections: Chimney-Pieces, and Cielings [sic] of Houghton in Norfolk; Built by the Rt. Honourable Sr. Robert Walpole...

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    London (first published)

  • Date:

    1735 (first published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Fourdrinier, Paul, born 1720 - died 1758 (printmaker)
    Ware, Isaac (draughtsman)
    Kent, William (designer)
    Ware, Isaac (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching and engraving on paper

  • Museum number:

    17079

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 54, case WE

Object Type
This print by Pierre Fourdrinier combines two printmaking techniques - etching and engraving. Both involved creating a pattern of grooves to hold ink in a metal printing plate. The image on the printing plate was the reverse of the final image. The etched lines were made using acid, while the engraved lines were scored by means of a sharp tool called a burin. The grooves were then filled with ink and the image was transferred onto a blank sheet of paper.

Place
Houghton Hall is a magnificent country house in Norfolk. It was built by Sir Robert Walpole, the Prime Minister, in the 1720s and early 1730s.

Subject Depicted
The large image in this print depicts a ceiling as seen from below. The small image at the top shows the cornice, or topmost section, of the wall of the same room. The two indentations correspond to the decorated ribs that protrude down from the ceiling into the room. It is clear from this layout that the designers and publishers behind the book could assume that the reader would know how to interpret architectural designs.

Design & Designing
The ceiling is symmetrical and made up of regular geometrical shapes. At the centre, two pairs of rectangles of different sizes flank an octagon. This format is influenced by Italian Renaissance designs, such as those published by the architect Sebastiano Serlio (1475-1554).

Use
Isaac Ware's book on Houghton Hall was published only a few years after the house was finished. It was a forerunner of the magazines available today, featuring the homes of the rich and famous.

Physical description

Print showing a design for a rectangular ceiling.

Place of Origin

London (first published)

Date

1735 (first published)

Artist/maker

Fourdrinier, Paul, born 1720 - died 1758 (printmaker)
Ware, Isaac (draughtsman)
Kent, William (designer)
Ware, Isaac (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Etching and engraving on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Cieling [sic] to Drawing Room North of Salone [sic] W. Kent inv. I. Ware Delin. P. Fourdrinier scul.'
Lettered

Dimensions

Height: 39.5 cm sheet, Width: 27.3 cm sheet

Object history note

Part of a group of objects previously in possession of Mr. R.S.Smith [South Kensington Museum employee?].

Descriptive line

William Kent (after), plate 22 from 'The Plans, Elevations, And Sections: Chimney-Pieces, and Cielings [sic] of Houghton in Norfolk; Built by the Rt. Honourable Sr. Robert Walpole . . . With a Description of the House and of the Elegant Collection of Pictures', London 1735.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

(Berlin I) Berlin Staatliche Museen, Katalog der Ornamentstich-Sammlung der Staatlichen Kunstbibliothek Berlin, Berlin and Leipzig, 1936-39, 2331.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
This design for a ceiling, from a drawing room at Houghton, is typical of Palladian ceilings with its heavy beams in a geometrical pattern. Houghton was one of William Kent's most famous commissions. The ceiling is similar to those designed by the architect Inigo Jones (1573-1652) a hundred years earlier. When it was built, painted figures ornamented the blank panels. [27/03/2003]

Materials

Paper; Printing ink

Techniques

Etching; Engraving

Subjects depicted

Ceilings

Categories

Printed pages & sheets; Architectural fittings; Interiors; Ornament prints

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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