Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ashdown House and the Heidelberg Connection

Last week we had the pleasure of a visit from Nichola Hayton, the President of the German-English Society in Heidelberg, who had come to Ashdown to view the splendid portrait collection bequeathed to William Craven by Elizabeth, the Winter Queen. During this 400th anniversary year of the marriage of Elizabeth and Frederick, the Elector Palatine, there is a series of celebratory events taking place in Heidelberg. The programme can be found here. The Queen is a patron of the festival and the British Ambassador commented that it "is a special expression of the friendship between our two nations." It was a great pleasure to talk to Nichola about the festival and Elizabeth's often overlooked role in 17th century European history.

Here at Ashdown House we are privileged to have a small part
of Elizabeth Stuart's portrait collection on display. It includes some very fine paintings from the 1620s and 1630s from the studios of several Dutch artists as well as the wonderful group portrait by William Dobson of Prince Rupert, Colonel Murray and Colonel Russell. We'd like to encourage art lovers to view this fascinating collection for themselves at Ashdown as part of the anniversary celebrations!

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