Musée No:737.015Regular price $32.33
Kings Weston Bristol
Artist: Sir John Vanburgh
Sir John (1664 – 1726) is best known as the architect of Blenheim Palace but along with that he was a dramatist and a herald (what a fabulous business card that would be!). He was a radical throughout his life and was part of a plot to overthrow James II with William of Orange. He was imprisoned by the French for nearly 5 years on a charge of espionage (trumped up he claimed) for allegedly carrying messages to and from William. He wrote to the Sun King, Louis XIV, to complain about his conditions and ended up finishing his time at the infamous Bastille in Paris. Once released he spent three months in Paris, free to move around but unable to leave the country, so he occupied his time looking at architecture "unparalleled in England for scale, ostentation, richness, taste and sophistication". His Restoration plays were seen as scandalous for their explicitness but also because he defended women’s rights in marriage. Vanburgh is thought to have had no formal training but his friendships with the influential of the day led to a successful architectural career in the “English Baroque’ style, and was seen as bold and daring. His most famous designs are Castle Howard, Blenheim Palace, Kings Weston House & Seaton Delaval Hall.