Life-sized elephants, painterly images of beautiful roses, the kitchen where Queen Victoria sent her own chef to learn and unseen paintings by Gustave Moreau - all of this and more will feature in Waddeson Manor’s exciting 2021 programme, which has just been announced.

Emerging from the gloom of 2020, next year looks rosier - not least because Waddesdon’s 2021 season includes the second instalment of Nick Knight’s Roses from my Garden, a series of superb large-scale still life images with echoes of artists like Brueghel and van Huysum, yet wholly contemporary, extended from February 13 to October 31.

Also, from February 3 to March 7, the history and secrets of the manor’s kitchen and the people who worked in it will be revealed in a fascinating new display, while an exhibition of Gustave Moreau’s watercolours that have not been seen in public for 115 years is set to be a highlight of summer from June 12 to October 31.

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The programme will kick off on January 16 with Elephant Family, in collaboration with CoExistence Half Moon Walk, in the Waddesdon grounds.

A family of five Indian elephants – a tusker, matriarch, two male adolescents and a female calf will be found in Half Moon Walk in the Pleasure Grounds throughout the season.

These portrait sculptures take their names from the real wild elephants living in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu who modelled for them.

Brought to Waddesdon in collaboration with the CoExistence campaign, these life-sized elephant sculptures draw attention to the loss of biodiversity caused as humans encroach on wild spaces in the densely populated Indian subcontinent and across the world.

Sculpted from sustainably grown dried Lantana Camara stalks wrapped over steel structures the elephants have been made by artist Shubhra Nayar and a collective of local artisans under the creative direction of conservationist Ruth Ganesh.

Visitors can also learn more about the history of the Manor Kitchen from February 3.

As a summer retreat from London and a magnificent setting for weekend house parties, Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild’s Waddesdon was the last word in luxury and refinement - not least through what was served from its cellars and large kitchen.

Some of the stuff on offer in Waddesdon

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Guests included Queen Victoria and her son, the Prince of Wales (and future King Edward VII).

In 1891, just 24 staff ran the house, but this number would double when the Baron was entertaining and his French chef and Italian pastry-chef came down from London.

Such was their artistry in the kitchen, that Queen Victoria sent her own chef to learn from Ferdinand’s after her visit in 1890.

Meanwhile, from February 13, the Coach House Gallery will host Nick Knight’s Roses from my Garden exhibition.

British fashion photographer Nick’s constant desire to experiment and challenge his audience has led him to take up a new subject, the classic rose - but expressed in an entirely new way.

The resulting series, Roses from my Garden, continues into 2021 with newly created images.

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Nick Knight cuts roses straight from his garden and arranges them, using only daylight to illuminate his subject.

Photographed on an iPhone, the digital images are then enlarged and filtered through software that uses AI to infill the space between pixels.

The resulting images are no longer photographs, but rather, digital representations of photographs.

Collecting Stories: Private Worlds to Public Spaces from March 24 will tell the story of the Rothschilds, among the greatest collectors of the 19th century.

For as long as the Rothschilds have collected they have recorded their collections with catalogues, albums and photographs.

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One of the objects that will be on show

The houses that they built, the interiors they created, and the magnificent collections within them became known internationally as the ‘goût Rothschild’.

Sometimes these catalogues illustrated a private collection for distribution to friends and family; later on, they were commercially printed volumes of public collections.

Along with archive material and photographs are shown Ferdinand’s Red Book, a privately printed album illustrating the collection at Waddesdon, his cousin Alfred’s equivalent for Halton House and other examples for five different Rothschild collectors and their houses in London, Paris, and Buckinghamshire.

And from April, Waddesdon is celebrating the furniture of Jean-Henri Riesener, one of the greatest French cabinetmakers of all time.

Visitors will be able to explore Riesener’s work through a trail highlighting the exquisite furniture in the collection.

For even more details about Waddesdon Manor’s packed 2021 programme of events, go online now to their website -