Beningbrough Hall - State bedchamber



John Locke, by John Greenhill, circa 1672-1676 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

John Locke
by John Greenhill
circa 1672-1676
NPG 3912

This was the second-best bedroom at Beningbrough and was perhaps used by John Bouchier himself. The carving of the overdoor surrounds and the frieze, the latter featuring masks of the four seasons, is among the most adventurously three-dimensional in the house.

The state bed is a superb example of the early eighteenth-century upholsterer's craft. The crimson damask pelmets over the windows were made by the same craftsman to complement the bed, turning the room into a unified decorative ensemble in typical Baroque fashion. At that period such beds were powerful status symbols. They were often the most important piece of furniture in a house, sometimes costing more than all the other contents put together.

Among the portraits is Handel's patron, the Duke of Chandos. This is the surviving part of a double portrait showing the Duke being painted by his wife; her portrait is lost but her foot and her easel and canvas can still be made out at the right.

Download: In focus
Portraits on display: State bedchamber
Portraits on display: State dressing room