Hidden Treasures of the National Trust episode 9

Hidden Treasures of the National Trust episode 9

Hidden Treasures of the National Trust episode 9: After two centuries of absence, a hidden gem in the art world has finally found its way back to its rightful place. The grand Palladian villa of Stourhead, a stately architectural marvel nestled in the heart of Wiltshire, England, welcomes the return of Angelica Kauffman’s masterpiece, “Penelope and Euriclea.” This magnificent work, created by one of the pioneering female artists of the 18th century, has been shrouded in mystery and intrigue, but its homecoming promises to unveil a new chapter in Stourhead’s storied legacy.


Hidden Treasures of the National Trust episode 9

Angelica Kauffman, a Swiss-born artist who rose to prominence during the Neoclassical era, was a trailblazer in her own right. Her brushstrokes defied the conventions of her time, capturing the essence of classical antiquity while infusing her works with a distinct feminine perspective. “Penelope and Euriclea,” a testament to her artistic prowess, depicts a poignant scene from Homer’s Odyssey, where the faithful Penelope, awaiting the return of her husband Odysseus, is comforted by her loyal handmaid Euriclea.



Kauffman’s portrayal of this iconic moment is a masterclass in storytelling through art. The intricate details, from the delicate folds of Penelope’s gown to the pensive expressions on the women’s faces, transport viewers into the heart of the epic tale. Yet, beyond its technical brilliance, the painting resonates with timeless themes of resilience, loyalty, and the unbreakable bonds of female camaraderie.

Hidden Treasures of the National Trust episode 9

The journey of “Penelope and Euriclea” to its current home at Stourhead has been a winding one, shrouded in the mists of history. For over two centuries, this masterpiece remained elusive, hidden from public view and tucked away in the depths of private collections. Its rediscovery and subsequent acquisition by the National Trust, the esteemed organization dedicated to preserving England’s cultural heritage, is a testament to the enduring power of art and the tireless efforts of those who seek to safeguard our shared cultural treasures.

As visitors step into the grand halls of Stourhead, they will not only be greeted by Kauffman’s masterwork but also by a tapestry of stories woven through the centuries. The very walls of this Palladian gem whisper tales of the visionaries who conceived and constructed its magnificent architecture, as well as the countless individuals who have called it home throughout the ages.

Hidden Treasures of the National Trust episode 9

One such narrative is the intriguing quest to uncover the lost castle of Stourton, a once-formidable fortress that stood as a testament to the region’s rich history. Through meticulous research and archaeological exploration, historians and enthusiasts alike have embarked on a journey to unravel the secrets of this elusive structure, seeking to shed light on the lives of those who walked its halls and the events that shaped its rise and fall.

Accompanying this historical treasure hunt is a remarkable collection of scrapbooks, meticulously curated by a single individual driven by an unwavering passion for preserving England’s architectural heritage. These volumes, brimming with photographs, sketches, and handwritten notes, offer a captivating glimpse into the tireless efforts of one man’s mission to safeguard the country’s irreplaceable country houses.

As “Penelope and Euriclea” takes its rightful place at Stourhead, it serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring legacy of art and the stories it can tell. From the brush strokes of a pioneering female artist to the echoes of lost fortresses and the dedication of preservationists, each element intertwines to weave a tapestry that celebrates the beauty, resilience, and timeless allure of our shared cultural heritage.

Hidden Treasures of the National Trust episode 9

Have you ever dreamt of peeking behind the velvet rope, stepping beyond the grand facades of Britain’s most captivating historic houses? Hidden Treasures of the National Trust grants you this exclusive access, inviting you on an unforgettable exploration of the nation’s architectural and cultural gems. This captivating series isn’t just a visual feast; it delves into the heart of these grand estates, revealing the tireless dedication of the National Trust and its passionate team.

The series transports viewers across time and location. Imagine exploring the grand halls of Stourhead in Wiltshire, a neoclassical masterpiece adorned with exquisite paintings and landscaped gardens that whisper secrets of the 18th century. Journey onward to Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk, a moated Tudor mansion steeped in history, where each creaking floorboard and weathered stone speaks of resilience and intrigue. But Hidden Treasures doesn’t shy away from lesser-known gems either. Prepare to be surprised by Mr. Straw’s House in Nottinghamshire, a meticulously preserved time capsule offering a glimpse into the life of a grocer’s family in the 19th century.

Each episode unfolds like a captivating story. We meet the dedicated conservators who breathe new life into priceless artifacts. Watch in awe as Matthew Read, a clock conservator, meticulously repairs a rare 18th-century automata clock at Anglesey Abbey, coaxing it back to its former glory and allowing it to captivate visitors once more. We learn about Roisin Rampley, the property curator at Anglesey Abbey, whose passion for the collection is infectious, reminding us of the stories these objects hold.

Hidden Treasures isn’t just about grand houses and impressive collections. It delves deeper, exploring the fascinating lives of the families who once called these estates home. Uncover the stories of power and influence within the walls of a Georgian mansion, or delve into the eccentric passions of a collector who transformed their home into a showcase for their unique finds. By weaving together these personal narratives with the wider historical context, the series brings the past vividly to life.

But the real heroes of Hidden Treasures are the National Trust and its dedicated staff and volunteers. The series shines a light on their unwavering commitment to preserving this irreplaceable heritage. Witness the meticulous restoration projects, the painstaking research conducted by curators, and the tireless efforts of volunteers who ensure these estates remain open for all to enjoy. Their dedication ensures that future generations can experience the grandeur and stories held within these walls.

Hidden Treasures of the National Trust is more than just a television program; it’s an invitation. It invites you to explore the rich tapestry of British history, to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship of the past, and to be inspired by the dedication of those who safeguard these national treasures. So, step beyond the velvet rope and embark on a captivating journey through the hidden treasures that Britain holds so dear.

F.A.Q. about Hidden Treasures of the National Trust episode 9

Q.: What is significant about Angelica Kauffman’s painting “Penelope and Euriclea,” featured in episode 9 of Hidden Treasures of the National Trust?

A.: “Penelope and Euriclea” is a masterpiece by Angelica Kauffman, a distinguished female artist of the Neoclassical era. This painting, notable for its detailed portrayal of a scene from Homer’s Odyssey, captures the emotional depth and classical beauty characteristic of Kauffman’s work. Its significance also lies in its return to Stourhead after being lost for over two centuries, adding a rich layer to the villa’s historical narrative and art collection.

Q.: Why is Stourhead considered a key location in the Hidden Treasures of the National Trust series?

A.: Stourhead is celebrated for its grand Palladian architecture and beautifully landscaped gardens, embodying the quintessence of 18th-century design. The estate’s inclusion in the series highlights its architectural significance and the role it plays in preserving England’s cultural heritage. Stourhead’s rich history and its collection of art, including the recently returned Kauffman painting, make it a focal point of historical and artistic interest.

Q.: Who was Angelica Kauffman, and why is her work important?

A.: Angelica Kauffman was a Swiss-born artist who gained prominence in the 18th century. As one of the few female members of the Royal Academy, her work challenged the gender norms of her time and paved the way for future generations of women in art. Her paintings are celebrated for their classical themes and expressive depth, making her a pivotal figure in the Neoclassical movement and a symbol of women’s contributions to the arts.

Q.: What themes does “Penelope and Euriclea” explore, and why are they relevant today?

A.: “Penelope and Euriclea” explores themes of loyalty, resilience, and the deep bonds of female camaraderie. These themes are timeless, resonating with audiences today as they reflect on enduring human values and the strength found in relationships. Kauffman’s ability to weave these themes into her classical compositions not only showcases her artistic skill but also speaks to the universal and enduring nature of these human experiences.

Q.: How does the National Trust contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage as seen in episode 9?

A.: The National Trust plays a crucial role in the conservation of England’s historical and cultural landmarks. As illustrated in episode 9, their efforts extend beyond mere preservation to actively restoring and re-introducing significant artworks like Kauffman’s “Penelope and Euriclea” to the public. The Trust’s work ensures that historical sites like Stourhead continue to engage and educate the public about Britain’s rich cultural heritage, fostering appreciation and understanding across generations.

Q.: What can visitors expect when visiting Stourhead as influenced by its feature in Hidden Treasures of the National Trust?

A.: Visitors to Stourhead can anticipate a holistic experience that combines art, architecture, and landscaped natural beauty. The return of “Penelope and Euriclea” adds a layer of artistic depth to the visit, complemented by the villa’s impressive Palladian design and the storied history encapsulated within its walls. Educational tours and exhibits provide insights into the villa’s past inhabitants and its significance in English heritage, making it a enriching cultural outing.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top