|Look at them paws! View courtesy Capability Brown|
The first house on the site was built in the 15th century by Richard Verney, a knight. Various extensions and alterations followed, culminating in a major redesign in the modish Classical style, circa 1715, making the present house a contemporary of Blenheim Palace down the road - but much easier to take in if your home is a terraced house in Bristol! Stunning it may be, but it's the kind of place you can imagine being inhabited by actual people rather than giants.
|Lucus Cranach the Elder, Venus and Cupid, c1525 (photo copyright Compton Verney)|
|Pierre-Jacques Volaire, Vesuvius Erupting at Night, C18 (photo copyright Compton Verney)|
|Queen Elizabeth I, British School, c1590 (photo copyright Compton Verney)|
|Village Fete, British School, c1790 (photo copyright Compton Verney)|
|Girl with Cherries, British School, c1820 (photo Compton Verney)|
|Alarming carved wooden pig's head|
You could argue, I suppose, that folk art itself was a phenomenon that evolved out of the tastes and collecting habits of 20th century artists and designers. Like Picasso or Klee, or any number of European artists, they were looking outside the mainstream for inspiration, delighting in strange objects and naive paintings as things of originality in an increasingly uniform world. This is certainly the case with Ravilious in his book 'High Street', which is a compendium of oddities, and it's interesting then to look at the visual echoes of folk art that you see in pop art. I can imagine that Joe Tilson, for one, would have enjoyed carving some of those lovely old shop symbols...
Find out more about Compton Verney here.