Search the Collection

William Kent (1685?-1748), Architect

Sitter associated with 8 portraits
Artist associated with 4 portraits
Architect, painter and landscape gardener. Kent came from humble origins but gained knowledge of the classics when his early patrons took him on a Grand Tour of Italy. One of the leading architects working in the Palladian style, he published Designs of Inigo Jones, 1727, and worked at Houghton, Holkham and Stowe, as well as in London on the Horse Guards and the Treasury Buildings. Kent's garden designs for mansions at Stowe, Rousham and Chiswick combine naturalism with classical allusions. He replaced formal terraces and clipped hedges with open spaces, irregular clumps of trees and classically-inspired monuments, which bore witness to the taste, education and political identity of his patrons.