A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Elizabethan “Grotesque Work” Discovered in Yorkshire
Monday, November 15, 2021
YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND—The Guardian reports that sixteenth-century wall paintings were discovered under the nineteenth-century plaster covering three walls in a bedroom at Calverley Old Hall, a medieval manor house in West Yorkshire. The red, white, and black paintings depict laughing birds, griffins, and men’s torsos on vases based on decorations in Nero’s Golden House, which was discovered in the 1480s. Known as grotesque work, the designs became popular in Italy and came to England via books printed in the Low Countries and Germany. “I haven’t seen, anywhere else, such carefully planned grotesque work,” said historian Caroline Stanford of the Landmark Trust. The paintings suggest that the Calverley family were highly educated and wanted to decorate their home with the latest designs, she added. For more on Nero's Domus Aurea, go to "Golden House of an Emperor."
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