The sunlit hills of Derbyshire hint of something wonderful around every bend. One can never be prepared, however, for the feast for the eyes that is Chatsworth, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Derbyshire. The beauty of the place, the splendor of its countryside was in fact eclipsed for me by the art collection inside. Chairman of Sotheby's, the Duke has secured his beloved collection and heritage from the clawing hands of governmental tax laws by ingenious trusts, set up to preserve his precious history. One cannot help but be thankful for him and his family who, while they reside still it the family seat since 1600's, now rent the 1st floor apartments as custodians of Chatsworth. I imagine the Duke feels deeply in his soul that we are only custodians of art and beauty, and he has done everything in his power to preserve beauty, heritage, and history; all things good about being British, for us all to enjoy. I admire him to the root of my being.
I have to admit, I was still reeling from encountering two beautiful Rembrandts (purchased by the Duke's family in the 1700's when they were still affordable) and fabulous Lucien Freud's paintings when I walked into this marvelous gallery. All these treasures to be viewed in someone's home was a rare, unique experience for me. It gave the art more presence; it seemed more real, more visceral when viewed nestled in its own private setting.
Well, as you can see, I live a charmed, artful life. I am still digesting our June in the U.K. and France and I am utterly grateful to my husband and to all our friends and relatives who mad our travels magical. See you back on earth!