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Room from Wrightington Hall

c. 1748
Artist/maker unknown, English

Wrightington Hall, near Wigan, Lancashire, in the north of England, was the ancestral seat of the Wrightington and Diconson families. The earliest remaining buildings on the site apparently date from the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. The Hall was extensively added to and rebuilt about 1748, and this room was no doubt part of that reconstruction.

The design of rooms such as this, particularly in provincial houses such as Wrightington Hall, was based on illustrations in books such as The City and Country Builder's and Workman's Treasury of Designs, published in 1740 by Batty and Thomas Langley. Such designs were important in spreading the English rococo style of interior decoration, which is apparent here in the carved scrollwork and festoons of flowers and foliage on the chimneypiece. This style was essentially French in origin and generally made little impact on the more prevalent Palladian style derived from the classically inspired work of the sixteenth-century Italian architect Andrea Palladio. The doorway flanked by the two Corinthian columns and the architectural cornice decoration are typical Palladian features and demonstrate how these two different architectural vocabularies sometimes coexisted, even in the same room.


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