A view of the Wilderness, with the Alhambra, the Pagoda and the Mosque


This King's Topographical Collection view of the ‘wilderness’ at Kew shows the positions of the now demolished Alhambra and Mosque, in relation to the Pagoda which still stands. The Alhambra, in Hispanic-Moorish style, featured a colonnade and an elegant pavilion to the roof. The internal ceiling was also highly ornate, as was the external façade, with colourful tiles. The Mosque, in Turkish style, with domes and, notably, two minarets, included large star-shaped windows. Once again, the interior was sumptuous with pilasters shaped as scrolling palm trees. Presumably included to give a sense of scale, the elegant couple to the middle-ground are perhaps being shown around the gardens by the gentleman gesturing to the Pagoda.

The Ottoman Empire, and the wider Islamic world in general, was a source of fascination for Europeans during the 18th century, attested by a popular fashion for turquerie such as portraits in Turkish dress, operas and plays such as ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’ and the orientalist paintings of such artists as Jean-Étienne Liotard.

Full title:
A View of the Wilderness, with the Alhambra, the Pagoda and the Mosque. / W.m Marlow delin.t ; E. Rooker Sculp.t.
1763, London
William Chambers
Etching / Engraving / View
Edward Rooker, William Marlow
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

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