I was asked some tricky, but interesting questions about the Earl of Burlington this evening. What was the nature of his relationship with his mother ? His father died when he was only ten and his mother then had charge of the management of the house and estate. It’s much more likely that she was responsible for the commissions of work on the staircase by the fashionable Italian painters, Gianantonio Pellegrini and Sebastiano Ricci. So, it’s imaginable that he was the product of an over-dominant mother. Who advised him on the purchase of works of art in Rome ? Presumably then as now there were plenty of British artists and antiquarians who were happy to offer their services and advice to a wealthy young aristocrat, including William Kent and John Talman. Did he mind the criticism that was levelled at Chiswick of it being a bit too bijou ? I doubt it. He strikes me as having been pretty confident, if not arrogant. One of the first men of taste.