The subject of the introduction of the Italian Renaissance into England is a complicated one. That the first notable expression of this manner was the tomb of Henry VII in the Chapel of which bears his name, the style was un-before, is doubtful, jected before the in 1509, although not eight years later. cenary soldier of rigiano - or Peter styled in England, to the King's own Pageny, - this tomb as the first Royal style. The Renais-reaches England manners of other Devon, parts of Sussex, and especi-hood of Rye, many sance ornament can woodwork of the first sixteenth century, of France is unmis-of commerce or of France were in close Westminster Abbey, is probable, but that known in England This tomb was pro-death of Henry VII finished until some The work of a mer-fortune, Pietro Tor-Torrisany, as he was who was preferred craftsman, Master may be regarded patronage of the new sance of Italy, here, uninfluenced by the countries, but in Hampshire and ally in the neighbour-examples of Renais-be found, in oak year or two of the where the influence takable. In matters warfare,England and relationship during nearly the whole of the fifteenth century. It is, therefore, not surprising to find, that, whereas with Torrigiano the Italian ornament was introduced direct, it also permeated through France into England at a later, and possibly at a somewhat earlier date, independently of the work of Italian craftsmen or designers.
Fig. 280. The Oak-Panelled Room From Waltham. - Early sixteenth century. Victoria and Albert Museum.
Fig. 281. Door Of The Oak-Panelled Room From Waltham. - Victoria and Albert Museum.
There are two other developments of the Renaissance which are worthy of notice here. The style also filters through the Low Countries into England, the more refined, the Burgundian or Walloon expression, into the East Anglian counties, and a typically Dutch or Flemish interpretation being adopted by the midland counties, Lancashire, Western Yorkshire, parts of Cheshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Somerset, and at the close of the sixteenth century, by the Home Counties. This is the strap-and-jewel work of which Aston Hall and Speke Hall may be cited as prominent examples. Thus we have the Renaissance ornament expressed in England, almost at the same period, in four different manners; the pure Italian, the Franco-Italian, the WalloonItalian and the Dutch-Italian. So sharply are these divided, that it is reasonably safe to state, in early examples, that the first is found in work of the London craftsmen, the second in Western Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset and Devon, the third in Southern Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Eastern Kent, and the fourth in the Midland and Welsh bordering counties. Towards the seventeenth century the several versions of the Italian ornament tend to coalesce, until, at the end of the reign of Elizabeth, - with some marked exceptions, - we get a homogeneous style which may be known as Tudor-Jacobean, with the Dutch-Italian version of the Renaissance markedly in the ascendant. In the examples shown in the following pages, however, these French, Dutch and Walloon, or Burgundian, influences may be traced even in woodwork of the middle or late seventeenth century.
Fig. 282. Oak Panelling From Beckingham Hall, Tolleshunt Major, Essex. - 6 ft. 4 ins. high by 9 ft. 7 ins. wide. - Dated 1546. - Victoria and Albert Museum.
Fig. 274 is given here as an actual example of the French Renaissance, from Rouen, a town which is especially rich in Italian ornament, or in the style known as Francois Premiere. Here the panelling is in four distinct stages. The base above the skirting is V-grooved in line with the styles of the first stage of the panelling above. These lower panels are tall and slender, enriched with the Italian ornament in the upper part only. The devices adopted are cartouches of various shapes, and moulded tablets suspended from ribbons. The tier above has every panel entirely covered with ornament, and half-balusters are fixed to cover each upright muntin. The two stages are divided by a dentilled capping-rail. Above is a broad frieze, carved with a running pattern of foliated scrolls and figures, centred at intervals with laurelled cartouches and bosses carved with initials. No two panels are exactly alike. For excellence of design and execution this panelling from St. Vincent is unrivalled in Rouen, as an expression of the pure Renaissance manner, with the single exception of the work of Jean Goujon in St. Maclou in which another influence, that of Burgundy, is apparent. Although one of the finest, this St. Vincent panelling is by no means the earliest example of the Renaissance in France, reckoned within the narrow limits of a decade or two. The same style is clearly noticeable in the panelling from Great Fulford in Devon, Fig. 275.
Fig. 283. Oak Linenfold Panelling. - 5 ft. 6 1/2 ins. high. Mid-sixteenth century. J. Dupuis Cobbold, Esq.
Fig. 284. Detail Of The Linenfold Panelling, Fig. 283. - Frieze sight 25 ins. by 4 5/8 ins. Panels 8 ins. wide. Muntins 3 ins. - J. Dupuis Cobbold, Esq.