Friday, June 15, 2007

Compton Verney

Another day, another stately home and/or art museum. Compton Verney is both: an art museum housed in the eighteenth-century country house designed by Robert Adam for the Verney family. The house is set in a pastoral Capability Brown landscape, and houses a good small collection of Neapolitan and Germanic paintings from the 15th through the 17th century, as well as one room of English portraits. The house stood empty for many years after being requisitioned by the military during the Second World War. In 1993, funding from the Peter Moores Foundation allowed the house to be purchased and restored as an art museum. Among the museum's most popular works is this 1550 portrait of young Edward VI, attributed to William Scrots.

As you can see from the dark clouds in this photograph (of one of the four sphinxes on the Robert Adam bridge), we returned to the car just as the light rain was starting to fall. Yesterday brought an afternoon and evening of torrential rains that, for a time, closed a long stretch of the M40 between Warwick and Banbury. With 70mm (2.76 inches) of rain, yesterday was the wettest day in Coventry since 1900. We're in the midst of another heavy downpour as I write this blog entry— the 175th entry in the record of our sabbatical year in England.

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