The development of a new natural style of laying out parks in the eighteenth century is acknowledged to be one of the greatest artistic achievements in British history. One man’s name is indelibly linked with the profession of landscape gardening: Lancelot Brown. Achieving great renown in his own lifetime, he became universally known by his affectionate nickname ‘Capability’, and whilst fashions in design have come and gone, his fame remains great three hundred years after his birth.
Published by the Yorkshire Gardens Trust in this the tercentenary year, Noble Prospects: Capability Brown & the Yorkshire Landscape tells the story of Brown’s work from his first known consultation at Harewood in 1758 to new projects at Stapleton and Byram just a few months before he died in 1783. Extensive new research confirmed that 14 landscapes in the county were created by Brown. Some were huge and well documented civil engineering projects such as Harewood and Temple Newsam - where Lady Irwin complained that Brown had put them in a ‘woful dirty pickle’. At other sites, Brown gave advice and then left the owner to his own devices and little archival evidence survives. The author leads us through Brown’s early life and influences and discusses his working methods with references to the Yorkshire landscapes along the way.
Noble Prospects is lavishly illustrated with eighteenth century artworks showing Brown’s works as they reached maturity, such as J.M.W. Turner’s "View of Harewood House from the South" of 1798, as well as portraits of the man himself and his grand clients. An important Claude Lorrain from a private collection represents the pastoral landscapes collected by eighteenth century British Grand Tourists, which inspired both Brown and his patrons. New photography, commissioned for the book from artist and photographer, Simon Warner, shows how many of the landscapes look today.
Available from the Yorkshire Gardens Trust at the special price of £10 including postage, click here.
Read a glowing review here.
News story author: Yorkshire Gardens Trust