As with all the art and furniture in the house, the French works were hung, used, admired or not, and discussed by visitors and owners alike. There was no special treatment for this art just because it was French. The works became part of the everyday fabric and routine of life in the Haywards' house.
This booklet, for the first time, collects all the French art at Carrick Hill, and examines the collection as an entity. In addition, a fine Renoir, which was owned by Lady (Ursula) Hayward and has since been presented to the Art Gallery of South Australia, returns briefly to its first Australian home.
The oldest piece in Carrick Hill's French collection is a carved oak panel from about 1600, and the latest are bright paintings of Provence in 1962. In between are works by major masters from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. One of Carrick Hill's masterpieces is a watercolour study of roses by Pierre-Joseph Redoute. It is fitting that a unique work by this master, who lived through the French Revolution of 1789, should appear on the cover of this booklet, published exactly two hundred years after that momentous event.
The Haywards were fine collectors, their generosity to the people of South Australia has resulted in this collection of French masterpieces staying together to delight visitors to Carrick Hill.