Thursday, January 8, 2009

What I'm working on...

Currently doing some reading, and re-reading on William Kent whilst revising an upcoming article on him. I had never really intended to work on English gardens but Kent came up in reference to my studies on early eighteenth-century Rome. He lived and worked in Italy between 1709 and 1719, a long time, and his work in England often has clear links with the art and architecture he saw in Italy. This has only recently become a popular topic of study, John Dixon Hunt has described how throughout the 19th century the English were keen to perpetuate the assertions of Horace Walpole (amongst others), who "sets up a new modern, natural and above all English garden against the horrid artificialities of French and Dutch design from the 17th century onwards." - John Dixon Hunt, The Picturesque Garden in Europe, p.35.

William Kent, 'A view in Pope's Garden at Twickenham with the Shell Temple', c. 1736. Image from the British Museum.

William Kent, Stowe House, Buckinghamshire, The Temple of Ancient Virtue, 1730-1740. Image from the British Museum.

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