(b Bridlington, bapt Jan 1, 1685; d London, April 12, 1748).
English architect, painter, landscape gardener and designer. He was the most exuberant and innovative architect and designer active in England in the first half of the 18th century. He was trained as a painter but was not particularly successful or remarkable in this work, showing greater skill as a draughtsman. As an architect he was highly versatile, practising in both the Palladian and Gothick styles, and this versatility extended to his work as a designer, which included interior decoration, furniture and silverware, book illustration, stage sets and gardens.
Kent was born into a poor family in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Nothing is known of his early education, nor of the circumstances that led to his apprenticeship to a coach-painter in Hull at about the age of 15. Kent is first recorded in London in 1709, when he applied for a passport to go to Italy. He was then 24 and, according to ...