Burghley House is one of the largest and grandest surviving houses of the sixteenth century and a magnificent example of the great Elizabethan ‘prodigy’ houses. Conceived by William Cecil, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I, between 1555 and 1587, Burghley is a testament to the ambition and vision of the most powerful courtier of the first Elizabethan age.
The Bow Room is one of the most impressive rooms at Burghley House, decorated with sumptuous wall paintings by Louis Laguerre, painted in 1697 and depicting scenes from Roman history. These magnificent works in this north-facing room battles with daylight reflections and the lack of light make the room feel cold when unlit. Our products bring warmth and clarity to the space by lighting the allegorical scenes and the ornate architecture as a single, multi-faceted work. Custom-made stanchion lights are subtly placed to illuminate the space. Beyond simply adding light to the works, these lights create an entirely new experience for the viewer.
This intimate social space is lined with family portraits, each placed in panels around the room. The TM Classic and TM Solo picture lights were used for the rectangular and oval paintings, respectively, as the most sympathetic to the works’ shapes. The lighting falls on the red sofas, creating an extra dimension to the space.
BLACK & YELLOW BEDROOM
The previously unlit works in this room have been brought to life by the TM Classic picture light. We uplit the artwork situated above the doorway with the TM Wash Light, to ensure the lighting fixture vanishes into the background.
The Heaven Room displays Greek mythological scenes painted in the Restoration period by Antonio Verrio. The extravagant mural covers three walls and the entire ceiling. This room contrasts the Bow Boom by having and abundance of natural day light, however certain areas fall into shadow. So balancing daylight with artificial light was the key to lighting this space. Our solution to bringing this heavenly scene to life was to create a custom adaptation of the TM GalleryOneSixty spotlight to illuminate the entire mural. The lighting is discreetly hidden behind the doors and Philip Rollos’ oval wine cistern, ensuring the focus can be on the spectacular mural with an even wash of light.
Our approach across all the George Rooms was to ensure that the outstanding ceiling murals and painting collection were given equal prominence. Not every work needed to be lit to achieve this balance. The TM Linear Wash is used to illuminate Antonio Verrio’s ceiling mural, while the TM Classic picture light is used for the key pieces on display. As in the Third George Room, the balance of light in this space was paramount. Our subtly placed picture lights and spotlights do not overpower the room, creating a sense of warmth befitting the room’s original function. The highly technical process of using picture lights to illuminate two large artworks, each over 2.5m in height, was also delivered in the George Rooms and can be seen here.
Family and royal portraits are displayed in the Pagoda Room. This space called for an alternative lighting technique with some works here. The lower left-hand and right-hand works are lit with TM ZeroForty spotlights, discreetly situated behind the George III twin pedestal desk, minimising disruption to the display.
BLUE SILK BEDROOM
The TM ZeroFortyOne spotlight is utilised here to accent the 18th century state bed and 17th century French ‘floral’ marquetry furniture, one of the rarest items in the Burghley House collection. The high-level pelmets above the windows provide a perfect hiding spot for the lights, to enable the sumptuous furniture to fully stand out in the space.
Photography by Andrew Beasley