Mythological Tour of Chiswick House and Gardens.
‘The Judgement of Paris’ by Daniel Seitar. This painting has hung in the Domed Hall at Chiswick House since at least 1740 and depicts the Trojan Prince Paris choosing the most beautiful goddess from Athena (Minerva), Hera (Juno) and Aphrodite (Venus).
The term ‘Renaissance’ translates as ‘Rebirth’ and refers to ‘the revival of European art and literature under the influence of classical models in the 14th–16th centuries’. This included the growing interest in subjects such as music, literature, sculpture, and architecture; together with the rediscovery of often believed lost or neglected texts and sources of ancient esoteric philosophy and teachings such as Hermeticism, the practices of ancient mystery cults and Neo-
In the eighteenth-
Lord Burlington’s ‘Roman Villa’ at Chiswick was accompanied by many such references to the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. This special mythology tour will specifically focus on the mythological characters in the paintings, furniture, statuary and decoration within the villa and tell their fascinating stories which often possessed additional allegorical or metaphorical meanings (for example, the use of the shell motif in many of the William Kent picture frames and furniture was a reference to the Roman goddess of love, Venus, as is the green colour in the wall hangings in the Green Velvet Room).
Following the tour of the villa the group will then proceed into the gardens and examine several pieces of statuary which were ascribed numerous layers of meanings which would have been understood by Lord Burlington's friends and contemporaries but whose meaning are lost to the modern visitor. The garden section of the tour will culminate with a visit to the exedra at the rear of the villa with its selection of mythological, religious, Augustan and Masonic references harking back to classical antiquity ,and in particular to Rome’s greatest perceived Emperor, Imperator Caesar Augustus.
The Mythological Tour of Chiswick House and Gardens Tour is priced at £15.00 per ticket and includes entrance fee to the villa. Tours last approximately ninety minutes.
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