DNA samples have been taken from the Duke and Duchess and their heirs – son Lord Burlington and his wife Lady Burlington – to create ceramic panels representing their personal strands for a new installation by artist Jacob van der Beugal.
The 659 panels will cover all four walls of the North Sketch gallery in an unusual take on traditional portraits of the aristocracy, playing on the idea of ancestry and inheritance.
Van der Beugel came up with the concept after several discussions with the family,
They had originally been searching for a ceramicist to create two floor-to-ceiling chimney pieces.
But excited and impressed by his alternative vision, the Duke and Duchess and the Chatsworth House Trust commissioned him to create what they regard as the most important art installation at Chatsworth since the creation of the 6th Duke of Devonshire’s Sculpture Gallery in 1832.
A team of craftsmen began work on the installation this week and the gallery is now closed to visitors.
It is expected to take four months to complete the work in time for when Chatsworth reopens on March 16 next year.