Enfilade

New Book | Longford Castle

Posted in books by Editor on September 27, 2017

With the Bouverie family’s purchase of Longford Castle in 1717, the launch of the book coincides with the tercentenary of the family’s ownership of the house. From Unicorn Publishing:

Amelia Smith, Longford Castle: The Treasures and the Collectors (London: Unicorn Publishing, 2017), 208 pages, ISBN: 9781910787687, £40.

Longford Castle is a fine Elizabethan country house, home to a world-class collection of art built up in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the Bouverie family and still owned today by their descendants. Until now, it has been relatively less known amongst the pantheon of English country houses. This book, richly illustrated and based on extensive scholarly research into the family archive, tells a comprehensive story of the collectors who amassed these treasures. It explores the acquisition and commission of works of art from Holbein’s Erasmus and The Ambassadors, to exquisite landscapes by Claude and Poussin, and family portraits by Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds. It explores how Longford, an unusual triangular-shaped castle that inspired Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia and Disney’s The Princess Diaries, was decorated and furnished to house these works of fine art. The book brings the story up to the present day, with an introduction and conclusion by the current owner, the 9th Earl of Radnor, himself a keen collector of art, to celebrate this remarkable house and collection.

Amelia Smith grew up in Surrey and attended university in London. She recently completed a PhD on the Longford Castle art collections at Birkbeck College in collaboration with the National Gallery. Amelia Smith graduated in 2012 with a first class degree in History of Art from University College London, where she was awarded the Gombrich Prize and Zilkha Prize. She went on to gain an MA in Curating the Art Museum at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2013 and undertook a curatorial internship at the National Portrait Gallery, researching for the exhibition The Great War in Portraits (2014).

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From the National Gallery:

Longford Castle: Past and Present
National Gallery, London, Friday, 13 October 2017, 6pm

Join art historian Amelia Smith as she introduces her new book on Longford Castle, its treasures and its collectors, and also Lord Radnor, the castle’s owner, in discussion about his current art collecting. The evening begins with a short interview between Lord Radnor and Susanna Avery-Quash. Amelia Smith’s lecture will follow, and the event will end with a drinks reception, where you will have the opportunity to buy a copy of Smith’s book, signed by the author. The event is free, though tickets are required.

Longford Castle sits on the banks of the River Avon in Wiltshire and is home to a world-class collection including works by Holbein, Claude, Poussin, Gainsborough, and Reynolds. The National Gallery has a long-standing relationship with the Castle, having acquired and enjoyed works of art from its collection over the years. In recent years, visitors have enjoyed guided tours of the Castle, organised by the Gallery.

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