From 1712 Richard Temple, Viscount Cobham (1675–1749), appointed Britain’s leading architects and garden designers to make over his grounds at Stowe. Works continued throughout the eighteenth century, culminating in one of the most influential and ground-breaking landscape gardens in English history.
Held as part of the King’s Topographical Collection, these engravings, produced after drawings by Jean Baptiste Chatelain, were a means for the public at large to see the transformations at Stowe. Part of a series of sixteen views, they show William Kent’s Elysian Fields, his Temple of Venus and Hermitage and Capability Brown’s alterations of Charles Bridgeman’s eleven-acre lake. These were just a few of the numerous temples, monuments, vistas, promenades, fountains and follies which won Stowe its pioneering status. Visual representations notwithstanding, the gardens also became the subject of poems and essays by fashionable authors such as Alexander Pope, James Thompson, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and William Gilpin.
An original drawing by Chatelain for this series is held at the Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven (Accession number: B1975.4.1058).
- Full title:
- Sixteen perspective Views, with a general Plan of the Buildings and Gardens at Stowe ... belonging to Earl Temple, drawn on the spot by M. Chatelain, 1752; engraved by G. Bickham, jun.
- 1753, London
- George Bickham and Thomas Bowles
- Etching / Engraving / View
- George Bickham, Jean Baptiste Claude Chatelain
- Usage terms
- Public Domain
- Held by
- British Library
- Maps 7.TAB.40.
- Article by:
- Dr Karen Limper-Herz
As domestic tourism became fashionable in the 18th century so too did interest in country houses and gardens. Karen Limper-Herz takes a closer look at some of the stately homes, and the publications portraying them, that were particularly popular in this period.
- Article by:
- Stephen Bending
- Country, Town and city
During the 18th century, public and private gardens were designed as realms for entertainment, polite sociability and leisurely retreat. With reference to items in the King’s Topographical Collection, Stephen Bending explores how pleasure gardens were depicted in contemporary engravings – from the bustling commercial gardens of London to the landscaped parkland of a gentleman’s country estate.