Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Painted Mantel

For the next installment in the "Hearth and Home" holiday series, I bring you this pretty painted mantelpiece from the decorative arts collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The chimneypiece was painted by George Brookshaw (also known as G. Brown) in 1793 in the neo-classical style. Originally created for Piercefield House in Wales being remodeled at the time by Sir John Soane (of the eponymous museum), the mantel was later sold from the house when it was stripped and left to ruins in 1926. Wood plaster and painted copper panels; not all grand mantels need to be of stone!

8 comments:

Parnassus said...

An almost unique degree of color and delicacy for a fireplace surround, but count on the Adam period to supply it. --Road to Parnassus

columnist said...

It is indeed a great beauty, and a revelation as you say, by being in wood. We had wooden Victorian ones in two rooms in our flat in Edinburgh, one in the style of Adam, and the other in the Regency style. They were completely unadulterated, in pine, but if I could have found someone to paint as gloriously as this, I might have been tempted.

Kerry @ Design du Monde said...

I truly wish that mantels in today's new construction had a little self respect. They need not be grand handpainted things, like this, but a little interest and proportion would be nice.
Everytime I see a mantelpiece in a museum, I think of my own and sigh.

The Devoted Classicist said...

It would be interesting to see this chimneypiece as originally installed. While the marble slips now surrounding the firebox are attractive on their own, I find them a distraction from the fine painted decoration.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

classicist -I agree that the surround (and itty bitty hearth) are distractingly loud. I would have prefered to see the mantel stand alone.
Kerry - I think you should take a hint from columnist and paint your own mantel!

Karena said...

Stunning Stefan. As I am in a condominium conversion complex, the mantle is pretty pitiful as far as architectural design.

Vicki from French Essence has offered her duo of books to 2 winners! We are on our 5th day of Holiday Giveaways with 4 events being open!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

home before dark said...

Inspirations is everywhere. This vertical art is in my mind now as a way to handle transitions on my stairs Thanks, AD!

Ann said...

As classicist mentioned, I wonder what the original surround was like? Do you think it could have been tile? Hearths and mantelpieces are still something I'm learning about so I wonder what would be apt for the period.