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A view of Henham Hall, Suffolk; the house seen in the mid-distance, paling to the right with trees behind, an open space before it, figures seated beneath a tree at left, other seated on a log at right. 1801
- Production date
Height: 233 millimetres
Width: 328 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Although the date on the inscription of this drawing has traditionally been read as 1809, it is more likely to be 1801, as Varley was employed as a drawing master by Lord Rous, owner of Henham Hall, during this year, which is also the date of a watercolour of the Park at Henham Hall in the BM; see 1973,0414.15. This drawing also appears to precede his invention of the Patent Graphic Telescope in 1809.
From Lowell Libson, "Cornelius Varney: The Art of Observation", 2005, p71:
Henham Hall which formed the centre of the estate which Varley visited [in the winter of 1801] was built in the 1790's to designs by James Wyatt for John Rous, first Earl of Stradbroke and the park, which lay principally to the south of the hall and covered over four thousand acres, was laid out by Humphrey Repton in 1791. Repton's designs were not radical and incorporated much of the seventeenth century parkland belonging to the original Tudor house, including the old Lime Avenue and the ancient Tuttles Wood with its Saxon ditches and ancient copse.
Henham was originally the seat of the Earls of Suffolk. Sir Anthony Rous of Dennington purchased Henham in 1545 from Sir Arthur Hopton of Blythburgh, who had been granted the lands by Henry VIII following the execution of Edmund de la Pole in 1513, Earl of Suffolk. During the nineteenth century Henham was regarded as one of the foremost estates in Suffolk. As with so many large houses, Henham became unmanageable in the early twentieth century, agricultural depression as well as social, political and economic changes, combined with a complicated family feud meant the house fell into decay and was finally demolished in 1953 leaving only the stables, lodges and the parkland surviving.
Varley evidently produced a fairly large body of wrok during his stay with the Rous family as can be seen from the inclusion of at least three lots of studies relating to his visit in the 1875 sale at Christie's.
- Not on display
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