Dawe - Field Marshal Blucher N070506
APSLEY HOUSE "Field-Marshal Prince Von Blucher". Painted c.1818 by George DAWE (1781-1829). Gebhard Leberecht von Blucher Prince von Wahlstaff (1742-1819), Prussian general and hero of the Battle of Leipzig in 1813. This is the Duke of Wellington's own portrait of his Prussian ally and co-victor at the Battle of Waterloo. WM 1536-1948
© Historic England
Copley - William II, King of Holland / Prince of Orange N070512
APSLEY HOUSE, London. "William II, King of Holland when Prince of Orange" (1792-1849) circa 1813, by American painter John Singleton COPLEY (1737-1815). WM 1542-1948. Took part in the Peninsular War as aide-de-camp to Wellington from 1811-1813. Returned to the Netherlands in 1813, becoming Crown Prince in 1815. During the campaign he was appointed Major-General and led the Dutch-Belgian contingent of 30, 000 troops. Commanded the allies with energy and bravery at Quatre Bras and Commanded I Corps at Waterloo, where he was wounded. Criticised for tactical misjudgements that led to many casualties, which Wellington attributed to a lack of command experience
© Historic England
Chiswick House, Red Velvet Room ceiling J970259
CHISWICK HOUSE, London. Interior. View of the ceiling in the Red Velvet Room.
The ceiling is inset with painted panels attributed to William Kent and has usually been interpreted as an allegory of the Arts. The panels around the edge, for example, incorporate musical instruments, portrait roundels of gods and goddesses (Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mars, Diana and Apollo) and their appropriate Zodiac signs. In the central panel the messenger god Mercury hovers above a stone arch, below which is a group of figures with further emblems of the visual arts: Architecture is represented by a bare-chested woman with a set square and a cherub with a plan of a Roman temple, Sculpture by a fallen bust of Inigo Jones, and Painting by a woman unveiling a self-portrait of Kent.
The radical alternative interpretation of this symbolism is that it alludes to the ritual of the Royal Arch masonic lodge. Red is the Royal Arch colour, so the red velvet on the walls is symbolic, as is the red drape which is being removed to reveal Kent's portrait in the ceiling. The traditional implements of the architect and sculptor, depicted in the ceiling, are likewise masonic emblems, while the combination of an arch below a rainbow which occurs in the ceiling painting was apparently a common subject of early Royal Arch lodge banners. The suggestion, therefore, is that this room could have been designed by Burlington and Kent - both of whom were certainly freemasons - to function as a masonic meeting place
© Jeremy Young