Natural Arts: Great Landscape Designers of the 18th Century

Past beyond the gallery archive
10 February 2012 - 30 January 2013

Beningbrough Hall


  • Partnership exhibition

Capability Brown
by Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt)
circa 1773
NPG 6049

The eighteenth century was a golden age of British landscape design.  Gardeners such as William Kent, ‘Capability’ Brown and Humphry Repton reshaped the country house and its estates and broke down the division between garden and countryside.  Their open landscapes, punctuated by man-made lakes, classical monuments and grazing sheep, created a revolution in taste which continues to be influential. 

This display explores the living legacy of these eighteenth-century gardeners.  It brings together their portraits with modern photographs of the gardens where they made their mark and audio commentaries from the National Trust staff, who care for these gardens today.  Kent, Brown and Repton’s work continues to flourish, as new generations of visitors enjoy the carefully-crafted views which defined the eighteenth-century British garden.

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