Situated at 19 Park Lane, at the junction with Hertford Street, Londonderry House was the last great aristocratic house in the capital to fulfil a political and social role. Formerly known as Holdernesse House, it was bought by the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry in 1822. Its magnificent interiors were embellished by Benjamin Wyatt (1755-1855), who created the drawing room (in effect a tripartite saloon) by merging two 18th Century drawing rooms with the drawing room of the house next door.
Sir Thomas Lawrence's portrait of the 2nd Marquess, who for much of his working life was known by the title of Viscount Castlereagh, and served in various Tory governments as Foreign Secretary and as the senior British representative at the Congress of Vienna, can be seen to the right of Jack's composition. Many of the furnishings meanwhile bear testament to the taste of Theresa, wife of the 6th Marquess, who, according to E. F. Benson, liked 'violence and strong colour, and sweeping along with her head in the air, vibrant with vitality'. The political traditions of the house were revived after the First World War by the 7th Marquess and his wife. Country Life's frontispiece for 26 November 1932 for example reads: 'As one of the most important political hostesses of the day, Lady Londonderry carries on the great traditions of the past, and gave a brilliant reception at Londonderry House last Monday to meet the Prime Minister'.
As well as painting portraits, Richard Jack exhibited several such interiors at the Royal Academy in the 1920s and 30s. In 1927 he showed two views at Buckingham Palace: the Blue Drawing Room (no. 103) and the Chinese Chippendale Room (no. 202). The following year he submitted a view of the Library at Chesterfield House. As in Brideshead Revisited, where Charles Ryder struggles to record the interiors of Marchmain House in advance of their demolition, Jack was no doubt moved to preserve an image of a rapidly vanishing era. Several of the great London townhouses were being demolished: 'The Demolition of Devonshire House' was shown by the artist at the Royal Academy in 1925. Remarkably, Londonderry House escaped this fate until 1962, by which time it had been overshadowed by the construction of the tower at the Hilton Hotel next door.