Painted panel by Lady Diana Beauclerk, c1800
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One of a set of nine painted panels by the widowed Lady Diana Beauclerk (1734-1808), created for the cottage she rented in Petersham at the foot of Richmond Hill. Unlike the murals she created for her former home at Little Marble Hill in Twickenham, these were intended to be portable.
Lady Diana had quit her riverside home in Twickenham in order to escape the public gaze following a scandalous affair between her eldest son, George St.John and his half sister, her daughter, Mary Beauclerk. The scandal exceeded even that of her own sensational divorce from Frederick St.John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke in 1768.
Lady Diana's friend and champion Horace Walpole described the panels as 'natural and masterly'. Fortunately for such relatively fragile objects, they were preserved by the St.John family and passed down through the generations until their acquisition by Swindon Corporation in 1965.
The wooden framed panels are painted on paper on a canvas lining. Four of the nine panels are on public view in the Dressing Room at Lydiard House, which would have served as Lady Diana's private boudoir at the time of her marriage to Frederick St.John.
- Lady Diana Beauclerk
- Dressing Room, Lydiard House
- Swindon Borough Council
- Friends of Lydiard Park
- Last updated on:
- Monday 29th August 2022