William Marlow (English, 17401813)
Designed by Sir William Chambers (English, 17261796)
Watercolor; 11 13/16 x 17 13/16 in. (28.4 x 45.2 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1925 (25.19.38)
This exquisite watercolor drawing depicts a view in the Royal Botanic Garden of Kew (near London), designed by the celebrated eighteenth-century English architect William Chambers. This sheet is bound in an album containing all the original watercolor drawings later published in print form as Plans, Elevations, Sections and Perspective Views of the Gardens and Buildings of Kew in Surrey, the Seat of Her Royal Highness, the Princess Dowager of Wales (London, 1763). This work beautifully illustrates the various garden sections and numerous structures at Kew, including a mosque, a classical rotunda, and a Chinese pagoda, demonstrating the fascination for eclecticism in garden art. The soft undulating shape of the lake and its surrounding lawns is combined with the crisp silhouette of the Chinese pagoda as focal point in the distance. This drawing provides a view of the quintessential English landscape garden, much admired and imitated on the continent.