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Cesi  

Donatella L. Sparti

Italian family of collectors. The family, whose origins were in the Umbrian town of Cesi, settled in Rome in the 15th century. In the 16th century they were celebrated for the splendour of the Giardino dei Cesi, a sculpture garden at their palace at the foot of the Gianicolo. This was established by Cardinal Paolo Emilio Cesi (b Rome, 1481; d Rome, 5 Aug 1537), who adorned the garden with antique (and contemporary) statuary. It was inherited by his brother Federico Cesi (b ?Rome, ?1 July 1500; d Rome, 28 Jan 1565), who became Cardinal in 1544 and who reorganized the garden and the palazzo so that it seemed like ‘the entrance to Paradise’ (Aldrovandi). He restored the statues and, above all, constructed an antique sculpture museum (destr. with the palazzo, 1940) with a Greek-cross plan, designed (1556–64) by Guidetto Guidetti and intended for small but precious pieces: it was one of the first buildings constructed purposely as a ...

Article

Kim Sloan

[de Grey]

English family of architects, patrons and collectors. Principally noted for their interest in garden design and architecture as represented in the family estate at Wrest Park, Beds, many generations of the family were active as statesmen and parliamentarians. Among the important works of art once owned by the family are Claude Lorrain’s Coast View of the Embarkation of Carlo and Ubaldo (Toronto, A. G. Ont.) and Anthony van Dyck’s portrait of the Balbi Children (London, N.G.). In 1676 Anthony, 11th Earl Grey (b 1645; d 19 Aug 1702), designed and built a new north front for the Elizabethan house at Wrest; during the late 1680s he began making Baroque formal gardens to the south of it. His son, Henry Grey, 12th Earl of Kent (b 1671; d 5 June 1740), whose Grand Tour in 1690–91 had included a visit to Rome, inherited the estate on his father’s death and resumed work on the gardens in ...

Article

F. Hamilton Hazlehurst

(b Paris, March 12, 1613; d Paris, Sept 15, 1700).

French garden designer and collector. He was outstanding in his time for his innovation and skill in garden design, particularly in his work at Vaux-le-Vicomte, Versailles, and Chantilly, and his ardent disciples carried his gardening principles throughout France and beyond, so spreading his influence. Popular among contemporaries, he also enjoyed a special relationship with the traditionally aloof Louis XIV, who bestowed upon him the Order of St Lazare (later replaced by the even more prestigious Order of St Michel), a coat of arms, and, on his retirement, a princely pension. Although the original spelling of his name was Le Nostre, by the late 20th century the form of Le Nôtre had gained most currency.

His career was doubtless determined at an early age, since his grandfather, Pierre, and his father, Jean, were both royal gardeners, who worked principally at the Palais des Tuileries. He was thus initiated into gardening practice by his father and a coterie of distinguished gardeners that included Claude Mollet (i) (...

Article

[Remee; Remy] [Vallemput, Remigius; Vanlimpitt, Remigeus]

(bapt Antwerp, Dec 19, 1607; d London, bur Nov 9, 1675).

Flemish (possibly French) painter, copyist, collector and dealer, active in England. In 1635 he was living in the newly developed area of Covent Garden, London; at that time he was closely associated with Anthony van Dyck and presumably assisted in his studio. Through his varied activities, van Leemput became a leading figure in the London art world, and he assembled a major collection of paintings and drawings. He bought extensively when Charles I’s collections were sold in 1649–51; his purchases included works attributed to Titian, Giorgione, Correggio and Andrea del Sarto. Later he acquired the great equestrian portrait by van Dyck of Charles I with M. de St Antoine (British Royal Col.), which he apparently attempted to sell in Antwerp but asked too high a price. It was still with him at the Restoration in 1660, when it was recovered from him for Charles II.

Although van Leemput painted original works, he was best known for his small-scale copies after van Dyck and others. A series of ‘14 … Ladies heads Copys by Remy’ (described thus in Queen ...

Article

David Rodgers

English family of gardeners and collectors. John Tradescant the elder (b London, 1590s; d Lambeth, 1638) was gardener in turn to Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, Edward, 1st Baron Wotton (1548–1626), George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, and Charles I. In 1611 he travelled in France and the Low Countries, collecting plants for Salisbury; it was probably on this journey that he also began to collect ‘curiosities’. In June 1618 he travelled to Russia in the suite of Sir Dudley Digges (1583–1639), the Ambassador to Russia, returning the following September; his diary of this voyage (Oxford, Ashmolean) records, inter alia, his acquisition of a coat from Greenland made of fish entrails. In 1626 Tradescant bought a house in South Lambeth where he established his renowned ‘Closett of Rarities’, enhanced by gifts from Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, Buckingham and William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury. His son, ...