Thursday, 31 May 2018

Let's draw Chiswick House and Gardens - Saturday 18 August 2018

Join us to draw at Chiswick House, a Palladian villa set in beautiful grounds. The house was designed by Lord Burlington with the aid of William Kent. Kent also designed the gardens, one of the earliest examples of the English landscape garden, with classical vistas, a lake, sculptures and an eighteenth-century wilderness.

The day is free of charge, no need to book, just turn up with your art kit.

Key times and meeting points

11am: Meet at the café next to Chiswick House (see photograph above)

1pm: Meet at the front of Chiswick House (see photograph below) to look at drawings done so far.

3.30pm: Meet at the front of Chiswick House, as at 1pm, to look at drawings done, and take group photographs.

We could then go to the café, or the Old Station House pub, 2 Grove Park Road, on the other side of the railway line at Chiswick station.

There is one café at Chiswick House, which may get crowded, so it could be a good idea to bring food/drink.

If the weather is poor, there is scope to draw inside the house, which has an admission charge (details under Practical information below).  Admission to the grounds is free of charge. 

Options for drawing

Chiswick House was designed by Lord Burlington and William Kent, and completed in 1729.  After three Grand Tours between 1714 and 1719, Burlington had developed a passion for Italian architecture, in particular the buildings of Andrea Palladio (1508-80), based on antique Roman architecture. Burlington designed the villa with the help of William Kent, to house his art and furniture collection. Chiswick House was of great importance in bringing the influence of Andrea Palladio to English architecture – the Palladian style. We have the opportunity to draw this beautiful building.

Chiswick House is set in gardens, laid out by Lord Burlington and William Kent. The gardens  established the English landscape garden style, with planned vistas, classical style temples, ruins, a lake, designed to recreate an ideal pastoral landscape.

We can draw these views: the Classic Bridge, the lake, the cascade, the Ionic temple, the Eyecatcher.

There are lawns, statues and woodland. There is also a conservatory with a collection of camellias, although this is likely to be being used by a wedding party when we are there.  

We can also draw inside the house (admission charge) including sculptures, paintings and ornate furniture.

Practical information

Chiswick House is on Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London W4 2RP.  The nearest station is Chiswick, which is on the national rail line from Waterloo.  The nearest underground station is Turnham Green (District Line). 

Chiswick House and Gardens are managed by English Heritage. Admission to the grounds is free of charge. Admission to the house costs:  Adult £7.50, Concession (student, over 60) £5.00; Under 18 free. It is free to members of English Heritage or holders of a National Art Pass (Art Fund).

Inside the house, there are around 12 folding stools that can be used while drawing in the house (these cannot be taken outdoors).  Because of the collection based in the house there are some rules for drawing indoors: Pencils only (no pens, charcoal, paint, crayon); Eraser use should be very minimal or preferably avoided altogether; No fixative sprays; No photography.   

There is a café and public toilets.

There is more information about the history of the house and gardens, and practical information for visitors on the Chiswick House and Gardens website

The day is run by Nicky Browne and Jo Dungey. The drawing of the Classic Bridge is by Nicky Browne, and the photographs are by Nicky Browne and Jo Dungey.



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