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[Anhalt, Duke of]

(b Dessau, Aug 10, 1740; reg 1756–1817; d Dessau, Aug 9, 1817).

German ruler and garden designer. After leaving the Prussian Army in 1757, he devoted himself to governing Dessau, instituting provision for the poor, public health and education. He made four journeys to England (1763–85) with Friedrich Wilhelm Erdmannsdorff, with whom he also travelled through Italy (1765–6). He studied for six months with Johann Joachim Winckelmann, whose ‘mimetic theory of the Ancients’ he realized in his garden designs. With Erdmannsdorff and his planters, he created gardens at Luisium (1774) and Sieglitzer Berg (1777) and most notably at Wörlitz (1764–1810), based on such English models as The Leasowes (Worcs), Stowe (Bucks), Kew Gardens (London) and Stourhead (Wilts). He was acquainted with William Chambers, Henry Holland, Sir William Hamilton (i) and possibly also Henry Flitcroft and ‘Capability’ Brown. As well as introducing the English landscape garden and Palladian country house to the Continent, the Prince also transplanted the Gothic Revival. The ‘Country House’ and ‘Gothic House’ at ...

Article

Noël Annesley

[Christie, Manson & Woods]

Auction house founded in London by James Christie (1730–1803). After a few years spent in the navy, James Christie worked as an assistant to an auctioneer named Mr Annesley in Covent Garden, London. He left Annesley in 1763 to set up on his own and in 1766 established his firm at the print warehouse of Richard Dalton in Pall Mall, where the Royal Academy held its exhibitions in its early years. In 1770 he moved his premises next door to Schomberg House, Pall Mall, where Thomas Gainsborough lived. The first known catalogue is dated 5 December 1766; it includes little of value except for a picture by Aelbert Cuyp. Christie rapidly established himself as one of the foremost auctioneers, however, cultivating a circle of friends and advisers that included Gainsborough, Reynolds, Horace Walpole, David Garrick, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and Edmund Burke, and receiving many auction consignments from royalty and the nobility. During the French Revolution the firm did particularly well through the abundance of works then coming into Britain. Among the more notable early Christie sales were that of the former collection of Pope ...

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

(b Liverpool, March 8, 1753; d Liverpool, June 30, 1831).

English lawyer, collector and writer. The son of William Roscoe, a market gardener, he rejected school at an early age and thus received no formal education. As a young man, however, he read a great deal and was soon articled as an attorney’s clerk in Liverpool. He studied Latin on his own, reading the literature of ancient Rome, and also mastered French and Italian. In 1773 he founded the Society for the Encouragement of Designing, Drawing and Painting and organized the first exhibition of paintings to be held in any English provincial town. In about 1781 he began to collect books and, on the advice of his brother-in-law, the collector Daniel Daulby, he started to purchase prints in London. He built up a collection of engravings, etchings and woodcuts by Italian, Flemish, Dutch, German and French masters. His collecting was inspired by the parallels he saw between Liverpool and Renaissance Florence, both rich mercantile cities. His intention in collecting was to illustrate the origins and progression of art in modern times: works were not to be judged on their individual merits but rather within the context of the times in which they were purchased. He also admired Lorenzo de’ Medici as a patron of the arts in Florence and sought to play a similar role for Liverpool. In ...