View of the Lake and the Island from the Lawn at Kew

Artist: William Marlow (British, Southwark, London 1740/41–1813 Twickenham, London)

Architect: Sir William Chambers (British (born Sweden), Göteborg 1723–1796 London)

Date: 1763

Medium: Watercolor

Dimensions: Sheet: 11 3/16 x 17 13/16 in. (28.4 x 45.2 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1925

Accession Number: 25.19.38


This delicate watercolor 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 the original 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 illustrates sections of the garden and numerous structures at Kew, including a mosque, a classical rotunda, and a Chinese pagoda, demonstrating the fascination for eclecticism in garden art at this time. The soft undulating shape of the lake and its surrounding lawns is combined with the crisp silhouette of the Chinese pagoda as distant focal point, and the view expresses essential qualties of the English landscape garden, so admired and imitated on the continent.