“Caramoor’s Rosen House is really the most wonderful place…I was amazed by what is there, and what is unknown to the art world.”– William Rieder, Curator of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
An Extraordinary Collection
The magnificent rooms at the Rosen House are filled with the extraordinary collection Mr. and Mrs. Rosen amassed through the years: Renaissance, 18th-century, and Eastern art objects and furnishings – sculpture, paintings, furniture, exquisite wall coverings, stained glass, Urbino Maiolica, and a robust Asian collection that includes a limestone Head of Kuan Yin, the goddess of compassion and mercy from the Tang dynasty, and an outstanding eight-fold Chinese screen with 40 panels of carved jade set in an original teak frame. The screen (pictured here) is considered unique and depicts the Hills of Immortality, the paradise of the Taoist religion. From Europe, the Rosens imported entire rooms from palaces and country manors.
The 17th century Burgundian Library, exceptional for its vaulted, periwinkle-blue ceiling decorated with 13 biblical scenes. Walls and doors are decorated with 65 additional paintings.
Of special note is the lovely Reception Room, with exquisite hand-painted 18th-century wallpaper from China, and a suite of 18th-century furniture, from a Venetian dressmaker’s shop.
The restored Cabinet Room consisting of lacquered panels, created for the Palazzo Riccasoli in Turin in the middle of the 18th century. Very few of these once numerous lacquered rooms have survived, though they were very fashionable in England, France, Portugal, and Germany as well as in Italy.
The Dining Room, lined in stunning 18th-century Chinese wallpaper, made for the European market, features 18th-century doors that come from C’Rezzonico in Venice, and are thought to have been designed by Tiepollo.
The palatial Music Room contains sculptures, paintings, wrought iron, stained glass, carved pilasters, and an outstanding collection of Urbino Maiolica. Armchairs from the 17th and 18th centuries are upholstered in exquisite needlework. Wonderful wood carvings decorate the sgabelli, chests, credenzas, trestle tables, and a magnificent cassapanca created for the marriage of Piero di Bracio Alberti and Cassandra Dino in Florence in 1599. Among the fine artworks is a painting by Lucas Cranach (1472-1533), tin-enameled terra cotta reliefs from the workshop of Andrea della Robbia (1437-1528), a magnificent Birth Tray commemorating the birth of a child ca. 1420 with scenes from Bocaccio’s Teseide, and a great Franco-Flemish tapestry The Holy Family (The Three Maries) from the early 16th century.
In the Master Bedroom the huge gilded bed which once belonged to Cardinal Barberini, later Pope Urban VIII, (1568-1644) takes center stage. In this room, as elsewhere throughout the house, are photographs and portraits of family members, reminding the visitor that the Rosen House was originally a family home.