August 23, 2019

Postcards from Britain - Blenheim Palace, Part 5

The interior of Blenheim palace is as beautiful as the countryside surrounding it. One of my favorite rooms is the red drawing room.

In This opulent room is a portrait by one of my favorite artists, John Singer Sargent. It depicts the dour 9th Duke of Marlborough and his not so loving bride, the million dollar American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt, and their children (the heir and the spare).

John Singer Sargent was such a sublime talent, that his rich and gentrified sitters let him depict them however he pleased. In this painting Sargent cunningly puts the Duke a step down giving us the impression that if he were to step up, he would be the same height as the lovely Duchess.

In reality, she was much taller than he was. It was probably fairly radical in those days to depict the lady above the gentleman in a formal portrait like this. Sargent had the freedom to do it. He was a master of composition along with every other aspect painting.

A place like Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire England, is great for seeing treasures from private collection - works of art you will not see in the great public museums of the world.

For the first of my Blenheim Palace series of posts click HERE or just keep scrolling.