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Horace Walpole's aversion to Palladian architecture was made manifest in the house which he bought and redesigned at Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, London. Gill Perry, Lecturer in Art History at the ...Open University, takes us on a tour of the house, assisted by the words of Horace Walpole, read by Allan McClelland.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A204, The Enlightenment
Item code: A204; 03
First transmission date: 20-03-1980
Published: 1980
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:21:48
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Producer: Paul Kafno
Contributors: Allan McClelland; Gillian Perry
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Architecture; Gothic architecture; Horace Walpole; Strawberry Hill
Footage description: The programme opens with shots of a Palladian style house over which McCelland quotes Walpole's criticism of the use of classical architectural styles in domestic buildings. Shots of Walpole's gothic house at night. A gothick atmosphere is created by organ music and thunder-claps, over which a short extract from Otranto is read. From the grounds outside Strawberry Hill, Gill Perry briefly describes Horace Walpole's move to Twickenham, in 1747. A portrait of Walpole is shown. Over prints of Strawberry Hill before the gothic house was built McCelland reads Walpole's description of his early life in Twickenham. Walpole's own reasons for building Strawberry Hill are quoted over views of the exterior of the house. A print shows the east end of the house, which Perry briefly describes. She describes how Walpole selected the decorative designs for the house. Organ music is played over close-ups of decorative details. Prints depict Westminster Abbey and old St Pauls, which are used as examples of Walpole's architectural gothic sources. Views of the exterior of Strawberry Hill. Perry describes Walpole's 'Committee on Taste' who designed the house. Perry is filmed entering the oratory of the house, while Walpole's description of this and other aspects of the main entrance is read in voice-over. Perry then enters the house proper and describes the hall and staircase. Over shots of the stairs Walnole's account of how Otranto was inspired is read. Film of the Breakfast Room, where Perry indicates Victorian alterations to the original design. She also explains that the main paintings that originally decorated the house have been removed. Old prints are shown to indicate the original appearance of the house. Portrait of Walpole over which Perry describes his Lifestyle and social activities, including his grand tour of France and Italy. Prints show views of 18th century Rome. Walpole's description of his enthusiasm for collecting painted glass is quoted over examples of such glass incorporated into Strawberry Hill. Film of the library at Strawberry Hill. Perry point outs certain features of the room. The ceiling is then examined in detail, with Walpole's detailed description of it quoted in voice-over. Film of the Holbein Camber. Perry points out the modern reproductions of Holbein works that now hang in the room, Walpole's own description of the room is quoted over shots of various details. The exterior of the house is briefly scanned as Perry lists later additions to the house. Walpole'e enthusiasm for gardening is described over illustrations showing the gardens at Strawberry Hill. Shots of the small chapel Walpole had built in the garden. The small room in the house known as the Cabinet is examined. Walpole's comments on the room accompany close-ups of various details. The Great Gallery is then treated in similar fashion, though with Perry's descriptive comments added to those of Walpole. Perry describes the large numbers of visitors who visited Strawberry Hill. Over prints of the house Walpole's own reaction to these visitors is quoted, Walpole's illness and death are briefly described and Perry concludes with a short reference to widely differing views of the importance of Strawberry Hil.
Master spool number: A 003P
Production number: FOUA003P
Videofinder number: 2261
Available to public: no