We didn't visit an art gallery on our trip to England in May. But we visited Harewood House, a huge confectionary cake of a house set down among an array of gardens, lakes, fields. Overhead red kites wheel and soar. Like our bald eagle these hawks have come back from the brink and are now an ordinary sight in the UK. But they are extraordinary! Beautiful birds with forked tails.
Inside each room is like a canvas with every element tuned to each other. Robert Adam designed rugs that echo the color and pattern of the molded ceilings. Silk wallpaper and furniture by Chippendale was commissioned for each room to complement the floor and ceiling. Enormous gilt mirrors were also designed by Chippendale. And the chandeliers! The yellow drawing room was for me the most beautiful room so I asked permission to sit and sketch. I was even allowed to use watercolor. The volunteer docent chatted with me while I worked, so I learned all kinds of things. Between the fireplace and the table is a discreet little device used for calling the lady in waiting. The ceramic dish in my sketch was smuggled out of France during the French Revolution and was supposedly originally designed to serve a sauce to go with a fish dish that celebrated a victory at Marne. The sauce was the ancestor of our mayonnaise. I had to draw the dish.