Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Stroll Through the Gardens

The trees are budding, the snows and deluges are over and I am looking forward to the joys of spring. Although never gifted with a green thumb, I still have an appreciation for horticulture. Those in the 18th century were quite fond of it as well, and we can thank them for some of the most wonderful landscaping that is still in existence today. The love and pride of owning one of these botanical wonderlands would cause many people to employ artists to paint these sources of joys. It was also the perfect backdrop to a portrait: showing you to both be Enlightened and rich.

Thomas Gainsborough, Mr. and Mrs. Andrews, 1750

John Wootton, The Beauchamp-Proctor Family and Friends at Langley Park, Norfolk, 1749

Peter Tillemans, Portrait of Master Edward and Miss Mary Macro, the children of Revd Dr Cox Macro, circa 1730

Angelica Kauffmann, Anna Maria Jenkins; Thomas Jenkins, 1790

Jacob-Philippe Hackert, The English Garden of Caserta (detail), 1792

Arthur Devis, Sir George and Lady Strickland in the Park in Boynton Hall, 1751


  1. What beautiful paintings of 18th century gardens! The portrait by Angelica Kaufmann is particularly beautiful.

  2. Every time I look at old portraits, I get a warm tingly feeling inside. I know I must sound weird. My boyfriend doesn't understand my fascination with "old, stodgy people" but I just love old paintings. These are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Funnily enough we went to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew on Sunday and I gleefully discovered Queen Charlotte had a 'little cottage' (here read large cottage) for 'picnicking' there! (It's only open on May Day though.)

  4. There's just something transporting about portraits that show property. I am a big fan!

    Somehow queens' getaway cottages never turn out to be...cottages. I guess they get points for trying?

  5. I love the dogs in each painting.

  6. Nice to see that everyone has brought their dogs, too, though some are definitely better behaved than others.
    I love how you manage to find the unusual paintings –– I'm as great a sucker for a Gainsborough as anyone, but you keep surprising me with paintings that I've never seen. Sometimes the lesser/more provincial pictures are the ones with the most interesting details, like that elaborate open carriage of the Beauchamp-Proctor ladies with SIX horses!

  7. @Heather - I guess so, and perhaps we can excuse her because she was using the cottage orné style, so fancy (ornate) decor was allowed?!

    I really felt even more Georgian because there were no planes in the air either. Magical.

    @Marquis Jacques - by the way you don't sound weird at all

  8. First time commenting, love your blog.

    They are all pretty, but why no flowers in any of them?

    Also, what a coincidence between the dress in the last picture and the most recent "yay or nay"! I think the last picture's dress is a better example of pink and green working together.

  9. You're right, not many flowers, are there. At least Kauffman included them in her painting!

    Ya know green and pink usually work so well (as in this case) but it would appear they just don't in this week's yay or nay.