All this furniture, together with the 20 side chairs, four sofas, one large settee, two small and two large side tables, and eight candlestands were all supplied between 1745 and 1747 by James Pascall for a total cost of £376-17-9d.
In addition to the hanging of the ‘political’ and ‘family’ portraits which were such an important element in Henry’s programme for this room, there were the other pictures to take their part. In total there were 83 pictures in this room in 1750 and they included some of the consignment of ‘over 40’ stormy landscapes, seascapes and battle scenes by Antonio Marini which had come to Temple Newsam in the wake of the Grand Tour of Henry’s eldest brother Edward as early as 1709. Some 20 of these were now hung – reframed in lugged Palladian style frames - on the south, east and west walls. With their dramatic and violent scenes, either showing uncontrolled nature or man’s cruelty and barbarism, they act as a foil to the harmonious and peaceful scenes being enacted in the Arcadian setting of the Gallery. They are however safely outside the world in which we are now, conversing with the gods of mythology or the heroes of the past.
Henry himself acquired two rare Arcadian paintings which were clearly intended for a precise location in the Gallery and which were, in contrast to the other pictures, intended to make the spectator look outwards from the adjacent windows and into the parkland beyond. These are the two landscapes by Etienne Allegrain, bought by Henry in 1740 for 16 and 17 guineas each, at exactly the time in which he was planning the room. They were clearly intended for the central piers of the north wall, to hang either side of the great Venetian window, immediately below the portraits of William and Mary, and above the smaller side tables. Note how they are exactly the same width as these side tables, which they were intended to complement, but the moulding of their frames was copied freely for the new frames which were now provided for the portraits of William and Mary above them. These pictures came to light in a private collection in Brussels last year and were triumphantly returned to their historic location six months ago.
If it is not too fanciful to suggest it, I would also maintain that the subject matter of these pictures, is also highly appropriate to the room and may well have directed Henry’s attention to the arcadian theme. They show romantic sub-Claudian pastoral scenes, framed by curving pine trees, with sheets of foreground water leading the eye towards distant ruins and sunsets. Among the features in each picture there is a distinct and unusual tower, or campanile, surmounted by a tall spire. This is much taller than the usual spires to be found in northern Italy and may suggest the spire of Whitkirk church, which can be clearly seen from the adjoining windows. The intention may therefore have been for these two paintings to provide a link from the make-believe world which Henry so successfully created in his Gallery into the real world beyond the park.