The Lucian Freud portrait that ‘is probably the most beautiful thing at Chatsworth’

A new series of mini-documentaries is looking at some of Chatsworth House's many treasures – starting with a painting that was once deemed shocking.

Chatsworth House, the Peak District home that has been seat of the Cavendish family for generations, contains thousands of objects from four centuries of collecting.

And some of those treasures are now being examined in a series of short documentary films made by auction house Sotheby’s, with backing from Savile Row tailors Huntsman.

The first episode centres on a fascinating painting by Lucian Freud of the Duke of Devonshire’s late mother. The portrait shocked society when it was first unveiled – there was even talk of it being covered up – but is now revered by the Duke as being, “probably the most beautiful object at Chatsworth.”

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You can see episode one above, while further episodes – 13 in total – will be available at the Sotheby’s website over the coming weeks.

“This film series provides new insights not just into Chatsworth but collecting art and the extraordinary process of working with contemporary artists – something that not only gives me great pleasure but is of great significance to the present and future of Chatsworth,” said the Duke of Devonshire.

The second and third instalments are available now. The second looks at the commissions carried out for various members of the family.

The third episode offers something even more extraordinary: a Leonardo da Vinci sketch that was almost lost in the war, but which now resides in the Old Master cabinet – a room usually closed to the public.