William Kent(1685?-1748), Architect, painter and landscape gardener
Sitter associated with 8 portraits
Artist associated with 5 portraits
Kent came from humble origins, but gained knowledge of the classics when his early patrons took him on a Grand Tour of Italy, spending ten years studying, before being brought home in 1719 by Lord Burlington to decorate the ceilings at Burlington House (now the Royal Academy). 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 also illustrated John Gay's Poems, 1720, and James Thomson's Seasons, 1730.
Watch a film clip on the artist from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
by Jacques Rigaud, after William Kent
after Harry Norman Eccleston, after William Kent
steel engraved currency note, 1970-1991
- Chiswick House, London
- Claremont Landscape Garden, Esher, Surrey
- Ditchley Park, Enstone, Oxfordshire
- Euston Hall, Thetford, Norfolk
- Holkham Hall, Holkham, Norfolk
- Houghton Hall, Houghton, Norfolk
- Kensington Palace, London
- Rousham House, Nr Steeple Aston, Oxfordshire
- Stowe Gardens, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire
- William Kent in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs
Test your memory by playing our matching pairs game. Three levels of difficulty make it fun for the whole family.
Regency familiar faces
Rearrange tiles to uncover sitters from the Gallery's Collection by playing our puzzle game.
Who do you think you were?
Answer a few lifestyle questions about the Elizabethan period and discover your inner Elizabethan!