William Kent, A Show about him is on Now
The first major exhibition dedicated to the great English landscape designer, William Kent (1685-1748) opened March 22 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
It highlights this multitalented designer who designed monuments, furniture and yes - gardens.
But some say it does not talk enough about his talents as a garden designer, arguably his most original contribution. I don't know because I don't live in the UK but anyone who does - can you go and tell me what you think of the show?
Kent brought a new level of sophistication to landscape design.
At one project, in Rousham in the mid 1700's his aim was to create and transform the natural landscape into an Augustan landscape to recall the glories and atmosphere of ancient Rome.
The Watery Walk as it leads to the Cold Bath and on to the Octagon Pond in Rousham
"The garden is Daphne in little", Walpole described,
"the sweetest little groves, streams, glades, porticoes, cascades, and river, imaginable; all the scenes are perfectly classic."
|Rousham - source: http://marianboswall.blogspot.com/2010/05/pilgrimage-to-rousham-william-kents.html|
He also copied the interior idea of the enfilade and used it outdoors – a succession of connecting rooms – in garden spaces, creating visual links between them.
And then along came a young man named Lancelot Brown...and..well, the rest is history.
*Designing Georgian Britain, March 22-July 13, Victoria & Albert Museum, London SW7 (020 7942 2000; vam.ac.uk)