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Capability Brown

(1716-1783), Landscape gardener

Lancelot ('Capability') Brown

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue Entry

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.

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

Capability Brown

by Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt)
oil on canvas, circa 1773
NPG 6049

Capability Brown, after Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt) - NPG 1490

Capability Brown

after Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt)
oil on canvas, based on a work from late 1770s
NPG 1490

Capability Brown, by John Keyse Sherwin, after  Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt) - NPG D16434

Capability Brown

by John Keyse Sherwin, after Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt)
line and stipple engraving, 1770-1790 (circa 1769)
NPG D16434

Web image not currently available

Capability Brown

by John Keyse Sherwin, after Nathaniel Dance (later Sir Nathaniel Holland, Bt)
line and stipple engraving, 1770-1790 (circa 1769)
NPG D20332



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