Saturday, 24 September 2016

Uncovering the Original.

This is a picture of one of England’s best known country houses, the 15th/16th century Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire, England. (Excuse the somewhat lurid quality of the colour balance. My print is a poor one and this is the best I could do with it.)

The house doesn’t look quite like this any longer. I took the picture before a restoration job was done on it some years ago, and the black and white of the frame and infill is now back to its original dark brown and tan. I approve of that. The black and white paintwork was added by the prissy Victorians who favoured visual sanitization over authenticity. It seems their contrived sense of elegance in dress and etiquette was more than balanced by their noted paucity of taste in architecture. They had no style of their own, you see, and so they spent their time copying the grandeur of the Classical and the whimsy of the Gothic, and doing their very best to hide the honest vulgarity of the Tudor. I quite like vulgarity as long as it’s honest.

And my favourite element in the picture isn't the house anyway. It's the goldfish. They remind me of China.

No comments: