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Capability Brown (1716-1783), Landscape gardener

Lancelot ('Capability') Brown

Sitter in 4 portraits
'Capability' Brown was the most successful eighteenth-century landscape designer. He began working as a gardener in his native Northumberland and became William Kent's assistant at Stowe, Buckinghamshire before striking out on his own. From 1749 he worked independently, mainly as a landscape gardener. He worked for an impressive range of clients and told them that their estates had great 'capabilities'. He remoulded the parks around country houses with gentle slopes and serpentine lakes. His designs set a fashion for open, naturalistic landscapes, populated by grazing herds and punctuated by eye-catching buildings.