Overmantel Decoration 

Creator(s):   Grinling Gibbons 1648-1721

Date:    c. 1675–77

Accession Number:   Grace Rainey Rogers Fund 1943.654

Dimensions:   Part 1: 69.3 x 178.4 cm (27 5/16 x 70 1/4 in.); Part 2: 164.5 x 27.3 cm (64 3/4 x 10 3/4 in.); Part 3: 177.8 x 26.7 cm (70 x 10 1/2 in.)

Materials:   Limewood (Lindenwood)

Location:   Cleveland Museum of Art (Gallery 203A), 11150 East Boulevard Cleveland, Ohio 44106

Credit Line (copyright notice for material) :   By permission of Cleveland Museum of Art / Grace Rainey Rogers Fund

Online Catalogue Entry :

Image: Gallery 203A, The Cleveland Museum of Art, August 2020, David Brichford


The arrangement of architectural elements within grand interior spaces in the late 1600s and early 1700s emphasized symmetry and height. Decorative elements such as elaborately carved mantels, mirrors, paintings, and applied wall decorations were often stacked to achieve a visual focal point at one or both ends of the room. This particular overmantel decoration once hung above the fireplace in the Green Drawing Room of the Earl of Essex at Cassiobury in Watford, near London. A series of interiors at Cassiobury was one of Gibbons’ first large-scale decorative projects. In 1823, the British painter William Henry Hunt (1790–1864) produced a watercolor of the drawing room which featured this overmantel decoration.