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Article

Richard John

[Carrogis, Louis]

(b Paris, Aug 15, 1717; d Paris, Dec 26, 1806).

French draughtsman, designer and writer. He began his career as tutor to children of nobility, among them those of the Duc de Luynes at the château of Dampierre, where in 1754 he redesigned the park in the English manner. During the Seven Years’ War he worked as a topographical artist for Pons de Saint-Maurice and made portraits and caricatures of the soldiers in his regiment. Pons de Saint-Maurice recommended him to Louis-Philippe, Duc d’Orléans (1725–85), who in 1763 appointed him lecteur to his son Philippe, Duc de Chartres. Carmontelle quickly became involved in all aspects of the ducal household, notably in the theatre; he wrote ‘proverbes’ (playlets illustrating a moral point) for it and supervised their production to his own designs. His texts were published as Proverbes dramatiques between 1768 and 1787, but his illustrations to them remained unpublished until 1933 (original drawings at Chantilly, Mus. Condé). He also recorded the members of the ducal household at the Palais Royal and at Villers-Cotterets in a series of portrait drawings, in pencil and watercolour or gouache. These were made rapidly, often in less than two hours, and almost all show the sitter full-length in profile. They are an invaluable record of both courtiers and distinguished visitors, such as the young ...

Article

(b Paris, Feb 24, 1735; d Vernouillet, Sept 20, 1808).

French landscape designer and writer. He inherited a considerable fortune, which allowed him to develop his interests as a seigneur-philosophe. In 1754 he joined the army and, following the cessation of the Seven Years War in 1763, entered military service at Lunéville under the exiled King of Poland, Stanislav I Leszczyński. Between 1761 and 1766 Girardin also travelled in Italy, Germany and England, where he visited several English landscape gardens, including Stowe, Blenheim and the Leasowes.

In 1766, following the death of Stanislav, Girardin settled at Ermenonville, Oise, where during the next decade he laid out an influential Picturesque landscape garden. Shortly after its completion he published De la composition des paysages (1777), in which he codified his own accomplishments and presented his theory of landscape gardening. Although this treatise reveals his intimate understanding of the associationist aesthetics of contemporary French and English garden theory, as found for example in Thomas Whately’s ...

Article

James Yorke

[Mayhew and Ince]

English partnership of cabinetmakers formed in 1758 by William Ince (b ?London, c. 1738; d London, 6 Jan 1804) and John Mayhew (b 1736; d London, May 1811). Ince was apprenticed to John West (fl 1743–58) of Covent Garden, London, from 1752 until West’s death. As the usual age to begin an apprenticeship was 14, he was probably born towards the end of the 1730s. In 1758 Ince formed a partnership with Mayhew. They operated from Broad Street, Carnaby Market, an address formerly occupied by Charles Smith (fl 1746–59), whose premises they had purchased. In Mortimer’s Universal Director (1763) they were described as ‘cabinet-makers, carvers and upholders’, and by 1778 they were styling themselves ‘manufacturers of plate glass’ (Ince’s father and brother were glass-grinders).

In 1759 the partners began to issue in serial form The Universal System of Household Furniture...

Article

Werner Wilhelm Schnabel

(b Dresden, March 2, 1718; d Dresden, Nov 28, 1789).

German architect, teacher, theorist and landscape designer. He was first taught mathematics and the rudiments of architecture by his uncle, Christian Friedrich Krubsacius (d 1746), a lieutenant-colonel in the engineers’ corps. He received further training from Zacharias Longuelune and Jean de Bodt. In 1740 he held the post of ‘Kondukteur’ in the building department at Dresden. From c. 1745 he collaborated in the designs of the chief state master builder, Johann Christoph Knöffel. After Knöffel’s death, Krubsacius became the favoured architect of Heinrich, Graf von Brühl, at that time the most important architectural patron in Saxony. In 1755 he was appointed Electoral Court Master Builder, a position created especially for him. He went on a study trip to Paris in 1755–6, at Brühl’s instigation. After the outbreak of the Seven Years War in 1756, his scope for architectural employment deteriorated, so he turned to teaching. In 1764 he became Professor of Architecture at the newly founded Dresden Kunstakademie. His most important work was Schloss Neschwitz (...

Article

Roger White

(b Twickenham, bapt Sept 14, 1696; d London, March 3, 1751).

English architect and writer. The son of a gardener, he first tried his hand as a landscape gardener in Twickenham and published several books that reveal his practical knowledge of the subject, notably New Principles of Gardening (1728) and Pomona (1729). He deplored the rigid formality of continental horticulture and followed Stephen Switzer in advocating the introduction of the serpentine line into layout and planting. By 1731 he had moved to London, where at different times he ran a drawing school in Soho, manufactured artificial stone ornaments, engaged in polemical journalism and produced a succession of architectural publications.

Langley’s classical pattern books plagiarized an astonishing variety of sources, both Baroque and Palladian, although it is clear from their tone and that of his newspaper articles that he had little sympathy for the prevailing Palladian orthodoxy of Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, and his followers. This may explain why, despite energetic self-publicity, he never managed to establish himself as a practising architect—his unsuccessful design (...

Article

Michael Symes

(b Hull, Feb 12, 1725; d Aston, S. Yorks, April 5, 1797).

. English clergyman, writer and garden designer. Educated at St John’s College, Cambridge, he was ordained in 1754 and was a royal chaplain from 1757 to 1772. His friends and acquaintances included such literary and artistic figures as the poet Thomas Gray, Horace Walpole (later 4th Earl of Orford), William Gilpin, the garden designer ‘Capability’ Brown and the painters Paul Sandby and Joshua Reynolds, the last of whom provided material for his ‘Anecdotes’ (posthumously published in W. Cotton’s anthology in 1859) and for Mason’s translation of De arte graphica (1668) by Charles-Alphonse Du Fresnoy.

Mason’s best-known written works are his verse history The English Garden and his satirical attacks upon the royal architect William Chambers. The English Garden, organized in four books after Virgil’s Georgics (completed 29 bc), a didactic poem on agriculture, brought together advice on the mundane activities of practical gardening and historical and critical commentary on the past and present art of landscape design, all of which was strongly coloured by Mason’s affinity with the aesthetics of the ...

Article

John Dixon Hunt

Descriptive term that was formulated into an aesthetic category in late 18th-century Britain, with particular application to landscape scenery, landscape painting and garden and park design. The leading characteristics of picturesque landscape are irregularity, roughness and variety, and the more wild areas of the British Isles, which it was then thought best exhibited such characteristics, were frequently visited and minutely examined by those tourists who followed the cult of the Picturesque. Movement was an essential element of picturesque experience (and one that is hard to appreciate in static images.)

In its earliest and primary usage ‘picturesque’ denoted ‘as in or like a picture’. The Italian term pittoresco was current by 1654 when G. A. Costa applied it to architecture in Per la facciata del duomo di Milano; since the word is not included in Filippo Baldinucci’s Vocabulario toscano dell’arte del designo (1681), we may suppose, as did Uvedale Price, that it derived from usage in northern Italy by Venetian painters. There is an analogous Dutch usage (...

Article

Michael Symes

(b London, May 21, 1688; d Twickenham, May 30, 1744).

English writer and garden designer. The leading poet of his generation, he won fame in part for his successful translations into English of Homer’s The Iliad (1715–20) and The Odyssey (1725–6), and for his own satiric verses, a number of which were directed against the courts of George I and George II and the Whig government and supporters of Robert Walpole, Prime Minister (1722-42). His interest in the arts, and in garden design in particular, is reflected in some of his writings, notably his prose satire ridiculing topiary, ‘Of Gardens’ (1713), and the later verse epistle, ‘Of the Use of Riches’ (1731), addressed to his patron, Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington and 4th Earl of Cork. From 1719 Pope lived at Twickenham, a fashionable London suburb by the River Thames, where he laid out a celebrated garden of five acres. He spoke of this as exemplifying the principles of light and shade, perspective and grouping. Pope made much of the idea of consulting the ‘Genius of the Place’ so that the site’s natural characteristics should be exploited and deficiencies made good. The garden, enclosed by a wilderness cut by straight and serpentine walks, was a sequence of level lawns, terminating at an obelisk and flanking urns (now standing in the grounds of Penn House, Bucks). Its principal features were a bowling green, a large mount and an open, domed shell temple, possibly designed by his friend the architect ...

Article

Kedrun Laurie

(b Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, April 21, 1752; d Romford, Essex, March 24, 1818).

English landscape designer and writer.

The eldest son of a tax collector, he attended Norwich Grammar School, concluding his schooling with three years in the Netherlands. He was then apprenticed to a Norwich textile merchant and, after his marriage to Mary Clarke in 1773, was established in business by his father. In 1778, following the death of his parents, he resolved to live as a gentleman farmer, moving to Sustead Old Hall, Norfolk. The landscape sketches he made around this time (Norwich, Castle Mus.)—the first indication of where his future career lay—were engraved for M. J. Armstrong’s History and Antiquities of the County of Norfolk (1781). He became a friend of William Windham of Felbrigg, travelling to Ireland as his private secretary in 1783, and acted as election manager on Windham’s entry into Parliament in 1784. Windham’s agent, Nathaniel Kent, taught Repton estate management, and from another neighbour, Robert Marsham of Stratton Strawless, he learnt about arboriculture. He moved ...

Article

Robert Williams

(b East Stratton, nr Micheldever, Hants, bapt Feb 25, 1683; d London, June 8, 1745).

English garden designer and writer. He was first trained as a gardener at one of Sir William Russell’s country seats, Stratton House, near Winchester, Hants, and then went to work for George London and Henry Wise at their Brompton Park nursery in London. From c. 1700 he learnt estate management, first under London at Castle Howard, N. Yorks, then under Wise at Blenheim Palace, Oxon. From c. 1714 Switzer was employed at various estates: the forested park at Cirencester, Glos, for Allen, 1st Lord Bathurst; at Grimsthorpe, Lincs, for Robert Bertie, Marquess of Lindsey; and at Marston House, Somerset, where for Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery, he added fountains and cascades.

Despite these various works, Switzer’s reputation rests largely on his writings. Formatively influenced by Joseph Addison’s Spectator essays (1712), in which a Lockean epistemology was brought to bear on discussions linking husbandry, landscaping and the creative imagination, Switzer sought to promote this ...

Article

Michael Symes

[ Whateley ]

(d London, May 26, 1772).

English writer, garden designer and politician . An MP from 1761 until his death, he served as a Treasury Secretary in 1764–5, helping to draft the Stamp Act (1765), a key document in events that led to the American Revolution in 1775. Whately’s writings include his Observations on Modern Gardening, for which he is perhaps best remembered. This work describes a large number of English landscape gardens, some in great detail, and attempts to analyse and categorize them. It was considered by his contemporary Horace Walpole to be ‘a system of rules pushed to a great degree of refinement’ (‘On Modern Gardening’, Anecdotes of Painting in England, ed. R. N. Wornum, 1849, iii, p. 807). Whately described gardens as such (e.g. Stowe, Bucks), as well as in relation to farms (e.g. The Leasowes, W. Midlands), parks (e.g. Painshill Park, Surrey) and ridings (e.g. Piercefield, Gwent). He examined specific features, such as buildings, rocks, trees and the form of the land, and this led him to reject overtly emblematic uses of temples, statues or inscriptions—all of which featured in early 18th-century English gardens—in favour of less contrived effects. Visitors to gardens would often use the ...