In response to that I thought I would show some more images of the interior decoration of the Chinese House at Stowe, which is in the Pillement style (with apologies for the amateur quality of my snaps).
The painted decoration probably dates from the 1820s and is reminiscent of the decoration of George IV’s Royal Pavilion at Brighton.
The Temple-Grenville family who owned Wotton (where the pavilion then resided) knew the King and would have been invited to the Royal Pavilion. The head of the family, the second Marquess of Buckingham, was ‘upgraded’ to a dukedom by the King in 1822 as a reward for his politicial support.
The decoration of the Chinese House shows a rich mixture of influences, including Chinese export art, the illustrations in Sir William Chambers’s 1757 book Designs of Chinese Buildings and Pillement’s Rococo chinoiserie.
The Pillement-style landscape panels imitate the look of red and gold East Asian lacquer.
The landscapes themselves are very much a European fantasy, however, with palm trees growing out of clouds, huge birds perching next to diminutive parasol-clutching people, and dragonflies whirring past ethereal pavilions and pagodas.
When the Chinese House was restored in the 1990s its interior was found to be in relatively good condition – considering their exposure to the elements – and therefore the painted surfaces were merely cleaned and stabilised. They constitute a remarkable snapshot of late-Regency chinoiserie taste.