It was a long, elaborate, symmetrical Adam room, with two bays of windows opening into Green Park. The light, streaming in from the west on the afternoon when I began to paint there, was fresh green from the young trees outside.
—Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
The serene, neoclassical “Dining Room from Lansdowne House,” designed by Robert Adam in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art eerily matches Evelyn Waugh’s description down to the green light and the house’s fate: two wings demolished in 1930 to make way for a road, and the rest converted to an eating club in London’s Berkeley Square. In Brideshead Revisited, contractors are about to pull down Marchmain House and replace it with a block of flats. The Landsdowne Dining Room, in its symmetry and restraint, exudes confidence in the rightness and durability of inherited privilege.