Some of Dyrham Park’s finest paintings have gone on show at very close quarters thanks to ongoing conservation work to revitalise the National Trust property.
Work on the house, part of a £10 million project across the whole National Trust site, means that both staircases are currently undergoing vital repairs.
As a result, a large number of paintings have had to be moved.
But rather than store them away, the works of art are being housed on stands in two rooms – the Slop’t Parlour and Gilt Leather Parlour.
The special collection includes various 17th century Dutch pieces by Samuel van Hoogstraten, Hendrick Danckerts and Melchior de Hondecoeter, a work by Spanish painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo dating from the 1660s and paintings of the Blathwayt family who created the house back in the late 1600s.
William Blathwayt lived and worked in Holland during his career as a prominent civil servant, so the collection reflects his life and love of contemporary perspective oil painting.
Eilidh Auckland, House and Collections Manager, said: ‘This is a once in a lifetime chance to see these magnificent pieces of art really close.
“You can see things you maybe wouldn’t normally spot and it’s a rare treat to be able to see these paintings at such close quarters in our specially created ‘pop-up’ gallery.’
Eight additional downstairs showrooms remain open daily while the staircases and upstairs stay closed.
The conservation work on staircases, wall hangings and items in the collection follows the massive re-roofing work which was finished in 2016.
The work is part of the ‘Dyrham Park Rework’d’ project, which aims to create an engaging and meaningful journey into the 17th century while giving people more space to park, eat, shop and play.