A Feast for the Eyes: A Look at 18th Century Dining Rooms

Adam A

The Dining Room of Lansdowne House designed by Robert Adam The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The holidays are a time to gather with friends and family and enjoy a wonderful feast together: and what better place to do it than the dining room.  We thought it would be the perfect time to have a look back at some iconic English country house dining rooms, both of which can now be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s period rooms.

The first room is Robert Adam’s dining room for Lansdowne House, which is situated at Berkeley Square in London.  The house was originally built for Prime Minister John Stuart, third earl of Bute, who sold the house to William Petty-Fitzmaurice in 1765.  He later became the first marquess of Lansdowne.

Adam B

The Dining Room of Lansdowne House designed by Robert Adam The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Adam labeled an engraving of a design for the room the ‘Eating-room.’  The room features carved doors, windows, columns, and other decorative elements by John Gilbert, and the marble chimneypiece was probably carved by Thomas Carter.  The distinctive niches originally held nine ancient marble statues, and the furniture in the room was designed by Adam and executed by John Linnell, which no longer survive.

Kirklington Park A

The Dining Room of Kirtlington Park designed by John Sanderson The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The second room is the dining room of Kirtlington Park built for Sir James Dashwood in the 1740s by William Smith and John Sanderson.  The dining room is decorated with elaborate plasterwork of the seasons by Sanderson, an overmantel painting of a landscape by John Wotton, and a marble chimneypiece attributed to John Cheere.

Gallery 519

The Dining Room of Kirtlington Park designed by John Sanderson The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Wherever and however you celebrate the holidays this season, we hope you enjoy the festive occasion with a meal fit for either of these wonderful examples of 18th century interiors.

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