Art and Decorative Objects Inspired by Chatsworth’s Magnificent Collection

Launch Slideshow

For years Sotheby's has marveled at Chatsworth's impeccable grounds and art-filled interiors, which are currently being showcased in our summer exhibition, Treasures from Chatsworth, much as they are in the home itself. But for those looking to incorporate Chatsworth into their own homes, Sotheby's also presents a selling exhibition titled Inspired by Chatsworth. Our specialists have masterfully assembled more than 80 works – available for immediate private sale purchase – that pay homage to Chatsworth's collection, many of the pieces featuring the same artists and subjects as those installed in the UK estate itself. Ahead, discover some of the selling exhibition's highlights, as well as the rooms at Chatsworth where their corresponding sources of inspiration reside. -Stephanie Sporn

Art and Decorative Objects Inspired by Chatsworth’s Magnificent Collection

  • © The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth
    View of the North Sketch Sequence by Jacob van der Beugel, also showing portraits of the Devonshire Family by Lucian Freud
  • Lucian Freud, Portrait of a Man. Price Upon Request.
    “I've always wanted to create drama in my pictures, which is why I paint people. It's people who have brought drama to pictures from the beginning. The simplest human gestures tell stories.” Lucian Freud

    Lucian Freud's Portrait of a Man depicts the owner of the famous Wheelers Restaurant, Bernard Walsh, whose Soho establishment was immortalized in John Deakin's 1962 photograph of the School of London artists. One of London's oldest seafood restaurants particularly celebrated for its oysters, Wheelers on Old Compton Street was Francis Bacon's favorite Soho restaurant. Freud was another regular at Wheelers throughout the 1950s and 1960s and would often meet Francis Bacon there for lunch and spend hours discussing art, books, gossip and gambling.
  • © The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth. Reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trustees.
    The State Music Room, showing the Devonshire trompe l'œil Still Life of a Violin by Jan van der Vaart
  • Jan van der Vaart, Portrait of a Violin. Price Upon Request.
    Van der Vaart worked for the Duke of Devonshire, and a very similar painting of a violin, depicted trompe l'œil hanging on a feigned door, is now at Chatsworth. In his Anecdotes of Painting, Horace Walpole notes that Van der Vaart had painted in Old Devonshire House in London “a violin against a door that deceived everybody.” Despite the house burning down in 1733 the painting was saved and moved to its present home at Chatsworth. It was recorded in the 1764 inventory in the Bedchamber at the foot of the Back Stairs inset into a cupboard; in 1836 it was installed by the 6th Duke of Devonshire in a State Drawing Room, possibly renamed the State Music Room in its honor, where it remains today inserted into a door.
  • © The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth
  • Workshop of Hans Holbein the Younger, Portrait of King Henry VIII. Price Upon Request.
    By the time this portrait was painted in the early 1540s Holbein had been in the service of the English crown for around fifteen years and a court painter for around six. Despite Holbein's privileged position in the service of the Crown, his portraits of Henry VIII are extremely rare, and those issuing from his studio in his lifetime are also uncommon. Many of these versions were made to be sent to the influential noble families in the land. The first and most noteworthy surviving portrait of the King is the one painted in 1536 when he was forty-five, today in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, which is the only one of the versions entirely secured to the hand of Holbein. A reduced head-and-shoulders version is at Chatsworth.
  • © The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth
    Pippin Drysdale from the Devonshire Collection
  • Pippin Drysdale, Stormclouds. Asking price: $82,000.
    Recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award to the Arts, and chosen as a Living Treasure in Western Australia in 2015, Pippin Drysdale's career as a ceramic artist spans over 30 years. The Duke of Devonshire has a long-standing relationship with Drysdale. The artist’s latest ceramic forms are created as sculptural components to be gathered into agglomerated suites. These clustered forms, whose collective tensions and rhythms are finely poised to convey a sense of the seasonal subtleties of Australia’s desert landscapes, fill the spaces they inhabit with a range of breath-taking vistas.
  • © The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth
    The Great Stairs, showing the Devonshire Mercury
  • After a model by Giambologna, attributed to Francesco or Luigi Righetti, Mercury. Asking price: $950,000.
    This magnificent sculpture of Mercury belongs to a small group of very fine mid-19th-century large-scale casts of this model, others of which are in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The National Gallery, Washington and at Chatsworth in the collection of the Dukes of Devonshire. The winged messenger of the gods, shows the divinity tearing through the skies, and for a static bronze figure, there is an extraordinary amount of movement. Conceived in the 1560s by the Italo-Flemish sculptor Giovanni Bologna, better known as Giambologna, the Mercury is an iconic work in the canon of the Western sculptural tradition. It is also Giambologna’s most famous work, which sealed his professional success at the Medici court in Florence.
  • © The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth
    North West Sketch Gallery Lobby showing five of six portraits of the Devonshire family by Lucian Freud
  • Lucian Freud, Girl Holding Her Foot. Asking price: $65,000.
    Discovering a love for printmaking later in life, Freud was able to reimagine the human and animal figures he first dissected and interpreted with a paintbrush. Girl holding her foot is one of several large-scale ‘naked portraits’ inspired by the artist’s own paintings. The anonymous sitter, featured in an oil painting completed the same year, was initially depicted propped on a plush sofa in his Notting Hill studio. Suspended in undefined space in this almost surreal print, the woman’s weight and being become the sole focus. The fleshy contours of her body brazenly confront the viewer, inviting questions about the artist-model relationship and challenging conventional standards of beauty and propriety.
  • © The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth
    The Old Master Drawings Cabinet, showing the Devonshire Rembrandt, A man in oriental costume (or King Uzziah)
  • Studio of Rembrandt, King Uzziah. Asking price: $345,000.
    This grand and striking portrait of a man wearing a white turban and rich black fur-lined cloak, clasping his hands and turned commandingly towards the viewer, has been the possession of the family of its current owners for at least 100 years. Untraced in recent critical literature, its early provenance is believed to go back to the French Royal Collection of the 18th century. The painting is a version of Rembrandt’s signed and dated work, bought by the 3rd Duke of Devonshire in 1742, which was recorded in Devonshire House, London in circa 1761 and has been at Chatsworth since the mid-1830s.
  • © The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth
  • Workshop of Antonio Canova, Napoleon Bonaparte. Asking price: $80,000.
    This colossal and impressive bust from Antonio Canova's workshop of Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of France, is a plaster version of the marble portrait in the collection of the Dukes of Devonshire at Chatsworth. The Chatsworth marble was found in Canova’s studio after his death in 1822 and sold to the Marchioness of Abercorn who bequeathed it to the Duke. Both the present plaster cast and the marble at Chatsworth are intimately connected with the genesis of one of Canova’s masterpieces, the monumental marble statue of Napoleon as Mars Pacificatore that now stands in the stairwell of Apsley House, London.
  • © The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth. C 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London
    View of Chatsworth grounds showing the Devonshire Frink, Walking Madonna
  • Dame Elisabeth Frink, Horse in the Rain VI. Asking price: $95,000.
    The horse is one of Frink’s most iconic motifs, one of her most beloved and famed. The present work, Horse in the Rain VI, is a tenderly realised sculpture of the horse caught in a steady downpour. Frink was a close friend of Deborah, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, who acquired the monumental War Horse in 1991 for the grounds of Chatsworth. The addition of Frink’s War Horse was the first contemporary sculpture to be added to the collection in one hundred and fifty years. War Horse was originally positioned at the south end of the canal pond opposite a bronze head of Frink by artist Angela Connor, commissioned later by the 11th Duke, to put Frink and her sculpture in dialogue. In 2007 the sculpture was moved, fittingly, to the entrance of the stables.
  • © The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth
    The Great Staircase, The Painted Hall, showing the Devonshire Aylieff, Chinese Ladders
  • Felicity Aylieff, Blue Mountains - Lidded Vase. Asking price: $52,000.
    Felicity Aylieff is an artist of international standing, who has committed the last ten years of her life to pursuing an innate passion for porcelain in Jingdezhen, China. Working and living in the ‘porcelain capital’ of China has proven a truly life-enriching experience. Deeply-rooted within a context of traditional Chinese ceramic production, yet immediately contemporary, the work can be found in some of the United Kingdom's most prestigious public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Museum of Wales and the Devonshire Collection at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.
Stay informed with Sotheby’s top stories, videos & news.
Receive the best from Sotheby’s delivered to your inbox.

By subscribing you are agreeing to Sotheby’s Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe from Sotheby’s emails at any time by clicking the “Manage your Subscriptions” link in any of your emails.

More from Sotheby's

We use our own and third party cookies to enable you to navigate around our Site, use its features and engage on social media, and to allow us to perform analytics, remember your preferences, provide services that you have requested and produce content and advertisements tailored to your interests, both on our Site as well as others. For more information, or to learn how to change your cookie or marketing preferences, please see our updated Privacy Policy & Cookie Policy.