Welcome to Calke Abbey, The Un-stately Home, or so the NT call this house. Here the demise of the stately home is presented with love, I think.
The family who once made this house their home were collectors of, well, everything and anything while paintings are crammed onto any spare wall space, my favourites of which are those of the family and particularly the female members. In the saloon the same female face appears again and again in a slightly different pose, a different coloured dress. There's something really interesting about this repeated 'likeness'.
This was a really good time to visit this property. I have reached the half way mark of a painting project which will be installed at Nottingham Castle in September 2015. Painting a large number of portraits, daily, has thrown up some unexpected issues, repetition is an interesting one, particularly when unintentional. Trying to visualise how a large number of portraits (all identical in size) has been tricky too, this visit to Calke has been helpful in that regard.