Will you sponsor the Music Room?
The grandeur of this room reflects George’s passion for music. His personal band played here and the king himself would sing and play.
You can become a sponsor of this virtual room from £95. To find out why it’s so special listen to our Royal Pavilion curators discuss the Music Room.
Sponsor this room
Become a Silver Sponsor with a donation of £95 or more. As a Silver Sponsor, you can add a message to be pinned to the virtual Music Room.
Become a Gold Sponsor with a donation of £150 or more. As a Gold Sponsor you can add a message to the virtual Music Room and will also receive a high quality photographic print of the room.
The print will be made from new photography by Jim Holden. Printed by Jim onto high quality Ilford photographic paper, this is a work of art that will acknowledge your support as a sponsor and provide an attractive picture for your home.
The print will be approximately A4 size and posted out to you following your donation.
Why sponsor this room?
Our Royal Pavilion curators Alexandra Loske and David Beevers explain why the Music Room is so special.
‘Yes, the Music Room to me is a room of sort of you know, the three primary colours. You have the blue in the carpet the red on the walls and then a lot of yellows in the soft furnishings and the heightening of the red as well. And why is it so red? Well, when you walk into this room you feel as if you’ve walked into a lacquer box, and of course lacquered rooms were very popular in the 18th century and early 19th century. But, in a room of this size, he couldn’t actually have lacquer wall panels or jappaned wall panels as they were called, because it’s just too big. So what George did here, or what his designers did, is they tried to create the same effect through paint. So it’s actually paintings on the walls imitating lacquer, and the way to do it is to use really strong colours, really strong pigments and to use the right kind of colours, so you have an opaque red as a ground. And then how do you make it look shimmery and glassy? Well, you use an organic sort of transparent or translucent red and that’s a cochineal red a common red that goes on top and that might just give you the impression that it’s lacquer. It’s an extraordinary effective room. It really is one of the greatest examples of the Chinoiserie style here in Europe.’
‘This is where musical performances took place. When the King’s band was present the band could differ in numbers from 40 to as many as 70 people. They would perform in here. It was a wind band with some percussion and they famously performed music by Handel and Rossini, and Rossini himself conducted in the 1820s, the overture to The Thieving Magpie in this room, with George annoyingly beating time to the music, this really did annoy Rossini when this happened. So the room is dedicated to music which together with eating and women were George’s preoccupations. He was a connoisseur of music he could play the cello, he had what was called a sweet bass voice and he would sing himself. Sometimes he could play the piano and would sing while playing the piano in this room and it was also used for dancing where this massive carpet was taken up again, a huge operation and the floor chalked just as in the other rooms. So dances took place in this room. There’s a famous illustration of this room, which you can see when you go in the room of a dance about to take place with everyone wearing court dress, ladies with huge ostrich feathers and the men in military uniforms, the Duke of Wellington, you can spot him by his rather beaky looking nose at the side of the picture and what is most interesting about it is, it shows them dancing on the carpet. Now this didn’t happen, so I’ve been puzzled about this and I think the reason that that view of the Music Room is shown is that the artist wanted to depict this famous carpet, was one of the most important largest carpets ever commissioned from the Axminster factory. Hugely expensive of its time hand-knotted with 32 knots to the square inch, walking on it must have been like sort of sinking into a cushion rather than walking on a carpet. George was very proud of it. So he wanted it depicted but also wanted the room to be lively and so it looks as if a dance is about to take place on the carpet, but the carpet would have been taken up for a dance.’