About this artwork
When Thomas Hope published his book Household Furniture and Interior Decoration in 1807, his name became forever associated with Neoclassicalism. Hope was a connoisseur and collector from a wealthy banking family of Scottish origin that moved from Amsterdam to London after the French Revolution. As a young man, he traveled extensively throughout Europe, Turkey, Syria, and Egypt, acquiring objects from all of these places, and incorporating elements from them in his design work. Hope’s wish was to shape the taste of his time by commissioning cabinetmakers to produce objects, most of which he designed himself, for display in his London home. His mansion on Duchess Street became a showplace visited by art lovers and professional architects who took inspiration from his work.
Of all the forms illustrated in Hope’s influential book, seating received the most attention. This chair, originally intended for use in a room containing Classical vases, is based on the saber-legged klismos, an ancient Greek form,. Its idiosyncratic profile, with the exaggerated concave/convex shapes of the vertical stiles, might well have been inspired by the chairs depicted on the pots that sat on the shelves directly above it.
- Thomas Hope
- Mahogany, ebony, beech, and leather upholstery
- 87 × 64 × 72 cm (34 1/4 × 25 3/16 × 28 3/8 in.)
- Robert Allen Purchase, Mary Waller Langhorne Memorial, and John and Neville Bryan Funds