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William Shenstone

(1714-1763), Poet and landscape gardener

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue Entry

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.

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William Shenstone, by Thomas Ross - NPG 4386

William Shenstone

by Thomas Ross
oil on canvas, feigned oval, 1738
On display in Room 10 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4386

William Shenstone, after Unknown artist - NPG D5961

William Shenstone

after Unknown artist
line engraving, published 1764
NPG D5961

William Shenstone, by John Hall, published by  James Dodsley, after  Thomas Ross - NPG D5959

William Shenstone

by John Hall, published by James Dodsley, after Thomas Ross
line engraving, 1780 (1738)
NPG D5959

William Shenstone, by Francis Engleheart - NPG D40693

William Shenstone

by Francis Engleheart
stipple engraving, 1821
NPG D40693

Web image not currently available

William Shenstone

by Unknown artist
line engraving, published 1764
NPG D5960

Web image not currently available

William Shenstone

by Unknown artist
line engraving, circa 1764
NPG D14714

Web image not currently available

William Shenstone

by John Hall, after Thomas Ross
line engraving, 1780 (1738)
NPG D5958

Web image not currently available

William Shenstone

by R. Clamp, published by E. & S. Harding
stipple engraving, published 11 April 1795
NPG D19347

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