Welcome back to an A to Z of discovery at Kiplin Hall and Gardens. Today we look towards warmer climes as we explore V is for Venice.
You don’t have to take a flight to be transported to the canals, bridges and cafes of Venice. The famous scenes come to life in paintings at Kiplin Hall and Gardens. Located in the Long Gallery two huge paintings of Venice hang at Kiplin serving as windows to the wider world in the room intended for promenading during poor weather.
One of the two large oil paintings depict the Piazza di San Marco during a carnival. Both are by the artist Luca Carlevarijs painted around 1710. Carlevaijs was a predecessor of Canaletto. These paintings were commissioned by Christopher Crowe who was the British Consul at Livorno in Italy 1705 – 1715. In 1722 Crowe purchased Kiplin Hall from his stepson, the 5th Lord Baltimore. Many of the artworks at Kiplin were brought to Yorkshire by Crowe who had worked abroad extensively. Kiplin became the Crowe family home for the following 100 years.
The second large painting, a view of the Doge’s Palace with numerous figures on the quay is in fact a reproduction. The original was sold to pay debts. Visitors are often challenged to spot the copy, which is actually very difficult. These paintings are particularly charming as there is so much going on in them. The people in the scenes are all going about their business, the faces are full of expression and give a lifelike reality to the historic landscape.
Bridget Talbot, the last owner of Kiplin Hall before it became a charitable trust, also travelled extensively. She visited Venice in 1912–15 and collected items in her scrap books. She painted water colours of the gondolas, a typical scene in Venice. A photograph in the scrap book shows Bridget and her sister Kathleen in a donkey cart at the Villa Pastellini in 1912.
Throughout the history of Kiplin Hall the owners have had ambitions to explore the globe. The Calverts were founders of colonies in Maryland, the Crowes diplomatic connections in the Mediterranean, the Carpenters sea faring service to the level of admiral, and the Talbots service in the armed forces and tours of Europe expected of their class. Grounded in North Yorkshire, these people all made their marks around the globe. The collections and gardens at Kiplin Hall tell the stories of the lives of the people who owned, lived and worked in this quiet corner of Yorkshire and their impacts around the world.
Kiplin is currently closed as the house is being dressed for A Retro Christmas – visit Kiplin from Friday 26th December until Sunday 12th December (closed on Thursdays). Set to the backdrop of traditional Victorian grandeur, memories of the 1970s will come to life with clashing vibrance. Foil decorations, macrame baubles and best-selling toys from the era will decorate the Hall’s festive displays. Fashions of the day will strut on the Long Gallery catwalk, while the tea room menu serves up nostalgic flavours from yesteryear. Families can explore the grounds seeking out the disco ball trail. Included in standard admission.