William Shenstone(1714-1763), Poet and landscape gardener
Sitter in 9 portraits
'A large, heavy, fat man, shy and reserved with strangers', the poet William Shenstone, now seldom read, was from the Midlands and a bachelor. His first poems were published whilst he studied at Oxford, although he left without completing his degree. Of private means, he inherited the farming estate of Leasowes, near Birmingham, from his guardian in 1745. He retired there and continued to write poetry in a pastoral vein. Shenstone coined the term 'landscape gardener', and created one of the earliest and most influential landscape gardens, his ferme ornée. He diverted streams to create waterfalls, and stage-managed the landscape to create views that unfolded from carefully chosen vantage points.