Beningbrough Hall - Saloon

The Saloon is the principal public room on the first floor, and would have been used for hosting country balls and other large public gatherings. It has been redecorated with appropriate lavishness, with the capitals of the pilasters picked out in gold leaf.

Either side of the fireplace are the masterpieces of John Closterman, one of the leading portrait painters in England in the late seventeenth century. On the left are the Children of John Taylor of Bifrons Park, Kent. A rose is passed from hand to hand, to play on the family's motto, 'fame is sweeter than white rose'. On the right are the 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury and his brother. Both were moral philosophers and are shown dressed in Closterman's interpretation of the classical costume of their hero, the Greek philosopher Plato.

The set of early nineteenth-century French gilt chairs once belonged to the great French collector Cardinal Fesch.

The Saloon, Beningbrough Hall

The Saloon, Beningbrough Hall
© NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel

Download In focus: Saloon
Portraits on display