Five rooms are devoted to a new exhibition of paintings The Wild, the Beautiful and the Damned at the magnificent palace of Hampton Court. Running until the end of September, visitors are offered an incite into the woman at Court during the late seventeenth century, and interestingly the stories behind their paintings. This is very much a look at the lives and loves of the late Stuart dynasty, which ended with the death of Queen Anne. Noticeably, the period covers that of Charles II’s reign.
Court painter, Peter Lely, has executed many of the paintings on display. The exhibition shows how beauty in the Court was not only a temptation and vice, but was also used as a weapon to make advantageous marriages and acquire wealth. It shows too how Royal illegitimate children of that era did not go unacknowledged, but rather were given wealth and titles.
While a significant amount of the architectural Tudor beauty of Hampton Court can be attributed to Henry V111 alongside this is the Baroque palace of William and Mary. The exhibition focuses on this latter period.
Worth investigating are the evening lectures that delve further into this glamorous beauty-loving world. Also the ‘Salacious Gossip” tours on Friday and Sunday evenings.