Unveiling history: renowned expert to share astonishing discoveries at Stowe House

As Stowe House celebrates a remarkable milestone, marking 25 years of tireless restoration efforts to revive its eighteenth-century grandeur, the public is invited to delve into the secrets of its majestic past. In commemoration of this momentous occasion, a series of captivating talks featuring esteemed experts who have played pivotal roles in the restoration journey will be unveiled.
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The inaugural talk of this enlightening series takes place on Wednesday 3rd April 6.30pm, and will be presented by Rhiannon Clarricoates, an architectural paint researcher and accredited paintings conservator. With over 17 years of expertise dedicated to the conservation of historic interiors and decorative surfaces, Rhiannon's contributions to Stowe House's restoration are profound.

The spotlight of Rhiannon's talk will shine upon the mesmerising discoveries unearthed during the recent restoration endeavours, particularly focusing on the awe-inspiring revelations from the East Staircase. A meticulous team of conservators, under Rhiannon's adept leadership, uncovered significant eighteenth-century wall painting schemes illuminating the political and military prowess, as well as the opulence of Viscount Cobham's era.

Among the captivating findings is a collection of decorative and iconographic motifs, potentially attributed to the renowned William Kent, whose artistic influence graced Stowe House during the 1730s. A leading artist of the time, the staircase at Stowe resembles another known piece of his work - The King’s Staircase at Kensington Palace. If confirmed, this discovery would mark an extraordinary revelation of previously unknown work by Kent, enriching the tapestry of Stowe's historical narrative.

Conservator working to reveal wall paintings at Stowe House.Conservator working to reveal wall paintings at Stowe House.
Conservator working to reveal wall paintings at Stowe House.

Attendees will have the exclusive opportunity to immerse themselves in Rhiannon's illuminating discourse, delving into the comprehensive investigation, comparative analyses of artistic schemes, and the intricate analysis of painting samples. Moreover, guests will witness these captivating paintings up close, offering a first-hand glimpse into the splendour of Stowe House's illustrious past.

Attend the talk:

Limited tickets are available for this extraordinary event, ensuring an intimate and immersive experience. To secure your place and avoid disappointment, early booking is strongly advised. Tickets cost £7 per person and include light refreshments. Book online via the Stowe House website.

Biography:

he East staircase landing is slowly be revealed by conservators at Stowe House.he East staircase landing is slowly be revealed by conservators at Stowe House.
he East staircase landing is slowly be revealed by conservators at Stowe House.

Rhiannon Clarricoates is a revered paintings conservator and architectural paint researcher with over 17 years of distinguished experience in the field. Holding the position of Senior Research Fellow in History and Heritage at the University of Lincoln since 2018, Rhiannon seamlessly balances her practice as a conservator with academic pursuits and teaching engagements.

Actively contributing to the conservation community, Rhiannon has served on the Institute of Conservation's painting group committee since 2004, contributing significantly to the organization of conferences and publications. Her scholarly contributions include numerous articles published in peer-reviewed journals and co-editorial roles for post-print publications.

Beyond her academic and conservation roles, Rhiannon's expertise extends to her involvement as an assessor for the Conservation and Collections Care Technician's diploma, offered jointly by the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Institute of Conservation. Additionally, she serves as a full member of the Lincoln Diocesan Advisory Committee, offering invaluable insights into matters concerning fine art and decorative surfaces.