From Dutch Masters and English rivals to the spectacular ceiling of the Great Library
This remarkable property has an art collection to match its stunning setting.
We will explore three of Kenwood's world-class attractions: the collection of portraits by Dutch Old Masters, the paintings by great 18th-century rivals, Gainsborough and Reynolds, and the exquisite neoclassical ceiling of the Great Library, pictured here.
Perhaps the most mysterious and, as yet, unexplained features of the painting are the two arcs in the background.
One possible explanation is that they allude to the Italian painter Giotto, who was rumoured to be able to draw a perfect circle freehand. Rembrandt might have intended the circles to be a display of his own artistic skill.
Zucchi’s paintings, as well as the architecture and furnishings that Adam designed for this space, acted as a monument to William Murray’s achievements. They suggest that, just like Hercules, Murray chose the difficult path – in Murray's case the study and practice of law – and that by following that path he ultimately achieved his own recognition and fame.