The previous two posts about textiles at Hardwick Hall gave me the idea to show some images of the Long Gallery there.
This imposing, almost hieratic portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, which hangs in the Long Gallery, illustrates the importance of textiles in Elizabethan interiors and court display. In her spectacularly embroidered clothes, encrusted with jewels, the queen is effectively en suite with the hangings behind her, the upholstered chair next to her and the carpet beneath her feet.
Near this portrait is a red silk bed canopy and headboard. It was originally part of the bed in the State Bedroom at Chatsworth and is one of the most magnificent surviving examples of late-seventeenth-century English upholstery.
It was brought to Hardwick by the 6th Duke of Devonshire in the nineteenth century and set up as a kind of romantic stage set.
The walls of the Long Gallery are hung with a set of thirteen Flemish tapestries, probably made in Oudenaarde, showing the Biblical story of Gideon and his triumph over the Midianites.
These unusually tall tapestries were purchased by Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, the builder of Hardwick, in 1592. Originally they were the sole wall decoration in this room, but by the second half of the eighteenth century a number of paintings had been added on top.