Hercules in Roehampton

Posted: 30 October 2012

image for news story Hercules in Roehampton

'The buildings that are part of this beautiful campus carry their fascinating stories' (John Simpson, in in the foreword to Nigel Watson's history of the University). And as Pevsner put it, 'there is still nothing like Roehampton anywhere in London to get an impression of the aristocratic Georgian country villa' (Buildings of England, 687). Dr Susan Deacy will focus upon one aspect of this 'impression' at an international conference in Leeds in June 2013: the 'Choice of Hercules' on the chimneypiece of what is now one of the showpiece rooms of the University of Roehampton, the 'Adam Room' in Grove House. To explore why the myth was thought suitable for display in an eighteenth-century gentleman’s residence, she will consider the key inspirations for the chimneypiece, notably the works of Matteis and Shaftesbury, and the Farneze Hercules, the ‘must see’ of the Grand Tour and staple feature of the gardens of the men who were transforming their estates into simulacra of classical sanctuaries.

Conference ref: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/arts/events/event/1532/

Susan's blog: http://owning-myth.blogspot.co.uk/

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