Sugar and Fire

Abraham Bosse, Banketbakkerij, 1635, Etching, 264 x 342 mm, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

The ambivalence of inventories, which rarely add the exact purpose of crucibles, pans and preserving jars, requires great caution when classifying rooms as laboratories. Continue reading “Sugar and Fire”

Domestic Laboratories

Willem van Odekercken (attr.), The Servant, 1631-77, Oil on Panel, 31 x 23,9 cm, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

The question of the places where early modern experiments took place is directly related to the social position and the way in which natural-philosophical research is framed. Continue reading “Domestic Laboratories”

Room of Experiment

Jan van der Straet, Nova Reperta: Hyacum et Lues Venera (Detail), c. 1580-1605, Engraving, 203 x 270 mm, London, British Museum

The Pranketing Room functioned as a kind of experimental kitchen laboratory for Lady Arundel and her servants. Continue reading “Room of Experiment”

Distilled Life

Frans Snijders, Still Life with Dead Game (“… the second of Hares, Hartichokes & Pigeons”), c. 1616-20, Oil on Panel, 55,9 x 87,3 cm, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

A special feature of the Pranketing Room was the gallery in the upper part of the two-story room. This gallery was decorated with a cycle of seven paintings. Continue reading “Distilled Life”

Conspicuous Canteen

Porcelain Ewer (Kraak, made in Jingdezhen), c. 1590-1610, 13,2 x 18,5 cm, London, British Museum

The arrangements of porcelain and polished brass objects adorning the walls of the Pranketing Room were utterly ostentatious. Despite their obvious pompous decorative potential, most of the objects on display had a designated practical use. Continue reading “Conspicuous Canteen”

Prank Banqueting

Osias Beert, Banquet Still Life, 1620-50, Oil on Canvas, 64,5 x 115 cm, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

The name and location of the Lady Arundel’s Pranketing Room at Tart Hall are the key to identify the building as a banqueting house. Continue reading “Prank Banqueting”

The Dutch Room

Boëtius Adamsz. Bolswert after Joos Goeimare, Lavish Kitchen (Christ, Martha, Mary), 1600-1620, Engraving, 475 x 713 mm, London, British Museum

The most lavishly furnished space in Tart Hall was the two-story Pranketing Room, a building separated from the main house. Continue reading “The Dutch Room”

Angel Closet

Unknown Italian, Angel, c. 1600-50, Etching, 147×178 mm, London, British Museum

In addition to the two galleries, three other rooms of Tart Hall stand out: a room with only one painting in it- a Holy Family- and a chessboard, a room with a representation of the goddess Diana and a room Elizabeth Chew calls the Angel Closet.

Continue reading “Angel Closet”

Casino

Stefano Buonsignori, Map of Florence (detail with Casino di S. Marco), 1584, Florence, Palazzo Vecchio

Tart Hall was a rural pleasure house, where otium, a concept essential for the elite since antiquity, could be pursued. Continue reading “Casino”

Tart Hall Experiments

A Platt and Description of Tart Hall House with the Gardens (a nineteenth-century copy of a seventeenth-Century plan) c. 1800, Maps Crace Port.11, London, British Library

In 1633 Lady Arundel acquired Tart Hall, a building built between 1611 and 1614 she had been renting for a long time. Continue reading “Tart Hall Experiments”