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Lancelot "Capability" Brown 1716 - 1783. Biography Lancelot Brown was born in 1716 in Kirkharle, Northumberland. Died in 1783 on his daughter's doorstep.

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Presentation on theme: "Lancelot "Capability" Brown 1716 - 1783. Biography Lancelot Brown was born in 1716 in Kirkharle, Northumberland. Died in 1783 on his daughter's doorstep."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lancelot "Capability" Brown

2 Biography Lancelot Brown was born in 1716 in Kirkharle, Northumberland. Died in 1783 on his daughter's doorstep. He attended grammar school at Cambo and began as a garden's boy for Sir William Lorraine at Kirkharle Hall. He later joined Cobham's gardening staff at Stowe under the tutelage of William Kent. Became master gardener at Stowe in 1741 and remained there until 1751, all the while carrying out private contracts for influential clients. Obtained first large commission at Croome with the recommendation of Sanderson Miller (a fellow gardener) Created a successful landscape garden organization for 30 years and is attributed with changing the English landscape Known for creating a vision of wilderness and taking restructuring the formal landscape and structure of the French "Jardin Anglais" to one of softness and pastoral landscape Known as "capability" Brown because of his response to his initial viewing of an estate and the great capability for the landscape's improvement.

3 Characteristics of landscape and career Characterized for softening landscapes from the formal gardens of structured walks and labyrinths to billowing trees, large gleaming lakes, lake pavilions and garden temples; often characterized as a "garden less" style. Connected smaller fishponds, dammed streams, and combined nature waterways to create larger lakes for recreation and viewing enjoyment. Particularly skilled at handling water and drainage which was highly influenced by his colleague Miller. Used and rerouted poorly drained lands to create well drained pasture and simple riverbeds and lakes. Used mounds and spiral planting for effect and brought back indigenous trees and plants into his design Erected many buildings in gothic style but also used inspiration from Chinese, Indian and Moorish styles. Did not focus on classical reference like his predecessor Kent but rather used a sparse scattering of monuments and plants. Implemented walkways and carriage paths in his designs as well. His popularity faded after his death because he was criticized for making a feeble attempt to recreate wilderness. He criticized heavily in the 19th century but regained fame in the 20th in part by the efforts of Dorothy Stroud who wrote a book about his efforts in 1958 rediscovering him as a the creator of the English landscape park and rehabilitating him from the negative image of "vandal of the English garden."

4 Gardens (from right to left top to bottom) 1. Bowood. 2. Belvoir castle. 3. Cambridge, the Backs. 4. Addington Place

5 More gardens (from right to left top to bottom) 1. Fawley Court. 2. The watermill at Euston Hall. 3. Croome. 4. Alnwick Castle

6 Ties to Literature and art Lord Burlington and Alexander Pope had great influence over the progress and popularity of the new gardening style. Pope's poetry and sensibility to landscape was widely read and advised: "First follow Nature and your judgement frame/by her Just Standard..." (Meir 25) Many people also visited Pope gardens at Twickenham Gardens functioned as a means of privacy, intrigue and coquetry in literature. It was a place for lovers to meet and hide. (I.e. The Way of the World, the Gaurdian,etc.) Also inspired landscape painting, although there is some skepticism which came first the painting of landscape or the design of the landscape that inspired the paintings. Also provide a means of literature or genre for publishing - the book about gardens and gardening which dates as early as Thomas Hill's Most Briefe and Pleasant Treatyse in By the end of the 18th century and into the 19th century gardening books became popular especially for ladies (1841 The Ladies Companion to the Flower-Garden by J.C. Loudon).

7 Landscape architecture The 18th century can be credited for many landscape artists including Brown, Kent, Miller, Reton, Richmond and others. Created a new style of landscape and rediscovery of gothic style as well as the nature architecture of original Saxons, builders of garden temples, summer houses, and viewing platforms Design was heavily influenced by Chinese, Indian, and Moorish styles even incorporating the first Pagoda at Kew gardens in Structures were built from stone and natural logs and rough hewn boards. Even miniature versions of Stonehenge were created in gardens. Miller was the farther of the recreation of the gothic relic and was commissioned to recreate castle relics similar to ancient ruins. The philosophy was to create a space that mirrored nature and the landscape itself resemble a painting. Consequently Pope thought topiary were barbarous!

8 Works Cited Brown, David. "Lancelot Brown and His Associates." The Garden History Society. Garden History, Vol. 29, No. 1, Lancelot Brown ( ) and the Landscape Park (summer, 2001), pp Jun Online. "Lancelot Capability Brown." Encyclopedia Britannica Online Web. 25 Jun Online. LaRousse Gardening and Gardens. New York: Hamlyn Publishing Group, , 59-60, 589. Print. Meir, Jennifer M. "Development of a Natural Style in Designed Landscapes between 1730 and 1760: The English Midlands and the Work of Sanderson Miller and Lancelot Brown." The Garden History Society. Garden History, Vol. 30, No. 1, (Spring, 2002), pp Jun Online. Russell, Barry. "Esoteric Garden." JAE, Vol. 33, No. 3, (Spring, 1980), pp Jun


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