I am a medievalist in the process of completing a PhD (involving medieval medicine). I travel as much as possible at home (UK) and abroad. I'm always ready for new experiences!
Published December 10th 2012
Impressive modern sculpture in historic English gardens
Belvoir, pronounced beaver, is a picturesque castle in Leicestershire in the English Midlands. Originally founded by the Normans, the castle has suffered destruction many times in its long history from the Wars of the Roses and the English Civil War to major fires in the nineteenth century. Despite its tumultuous heritage, the present castle and gardens are now a place of great tranquillity and beauty. This is largely due to the exquisite art collection and patronage of an artist-in-residence, Laury Dizengremel, by the Duchess of Rutland, who first welcomed the renowned sculptor to the castle in 2010.
Since 2010, the artist-in-residence has been very active in engaging the surrounding communities, creating unique sculpture for the castle grounds, conducting workshops and master classes, and working on large-scale projects for clients from China to the United States.
3 Busts. Photo by Belvoir Castle.
Sculpture on exhibit at the castle includes three sculpture busts of Lady Violet, Lady Alice, and Lady Eliza (a fourth bust of the Duchess is nearing completion), a lifesize willow horse located in Frog Hollow on the grounds (4 more willow horses are soon to be added), and busts of 3 hunting dogs made for shooting guests of the castle.
Willow Horse. Photo by Belvoir Castle.
The artist-in-residence works from a studio in Knipton not far from Belvoir Castle. She is happy to provide community workshops, after-school or holiday workshops, and special sculpture master classes on request.
The castle is most renowned for its collection of sculpture, which extends from the works of the artist-in-residence to pieces of period French and Italian sculpture and statue collections in the Rose and Statue Gardens. These statues, including works by Caius and Cibber, are arranged around a central garden fountain and built into a hillside display. The castle also contains other notable pieces of art, which you'll want to see on your visit. These include paintings by Gainsborough, Reynolds, Holbein, and Poussin, as well as porcelain, period furniture, tapestries, and embroideries.
Portrait Gallery inside the castle. Photo by Fastily.
As the castle is still a private residence occupied by the 11th Duke and Duchess and their family, the castle and gardens are only open on Sundays and Mondays from the end of March to the end of August. Specific opening times are available at the official website.
Photos above by Belvoir Castle are available at the main website.