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Lancelot Brown who was born in 1716 and died in 1783 was called 'Capability' because of his ability in realizing the capabilities of a landscape. Very eminent in his day and the demand by the owners of most of the noble estates, we find that his status or reputation had started declining by the start of the twentieth century. This was primarily due to the polemics of those who had revived the enchantment of the formal, architectural garden of which he was considered to be the main destroyer (Harlin, p93).
His prominence was restored by writers like Christopher Hussey and mostly, Dorothy Stroud, who was his biographer during the 1950 and 1960s. Most recently garden historians such as Tom Williamson and David Jacques have stressed the fact that Brown was only one of the several eighteenth century landscape designers, like Adam Mickle, William Emes and Nathaniel Richmond whose work and achievements are just starting to come into focus.
Nevertheless, some of these designers began their career together with Brown. Latest study, too, has stressed that Brown was never a one-man band. He greatly depended on a large group of individuals in supervising the implementation of his plans and he might be believed to be among the first ever garden designers to have something similar to a professional practice.
The achievement of his career comes from his own extraordinary talents and the time in which he lived. It was a time of great richness and one of the major signs of wealth was the increase in the size of the landed estates. However, the eighteenth century, as W. G. Hoskins defines it in (1955) 'The Making of the English Landscape', was actually the great age of parliamentary enclosures of the waste land and open fields; nearly 1,214,574 hectares were enclosed, in other words passed into private ownership.
All through hiss career he worked on designs for more than two hundred estates, between 1741 (Stowe) and 1783 (Stourton House in Yorkshire). The typical description of his characteristic work amounts nearly to a cliché, the park that is surrounded by belts of trees, the clumps of trees in the open landscape, together with the lake at the central ground, always formed by blocking a steam and normally of a serpentine kind so as to look like a river. Not much is known about either the practice or theory of his craft. He didn't leave any theoretical writings and the few traces of information we have are unreliable.
In recent years, we find that it has been mentioned that Brown also had great interest in the pleasure grounds of an estate together with the park. He frequently designed more or less fancy shrubberies that were close to the house like in the pleasure grounds of Petworth. His work wasn't generally admired in his time, Sir William Chambers, the architect as well as the garden designer criticized his landscapes in the year 1772 due to their little difference from the common fields.
Richard Payne Knight, the picturesque apostle, remarkably dubbed him as the mastermind of bald and bald. Nevertheless, Humphry Repton , who then followed in his footsteps, claimed that liking for leveling, so common in all his workmen: each hillock by them is lowered, and each hollow filled to make a level surface (Halliday, p152).
Petworth House in Petworth, England is a late seventeenth century manor, reconstruct in 1688 by Charles Seymour, sixth Duke of Somerset, and tainted during the 1870s by Anthony Salvin. The place was formerly occupied by an equipped manor house that was founded by Henry de Percy, the thirteenth century chapel and the undercroft of which still exist.
Today's constructing houses is an essential collection of sculptures and paintings, which include 19 oil paintings by Turner, some which are owned by the family and some by Tate Britain, who was a usual visitor to Petworth, the paintings by Van Dyck, the carvings by Grinling Gibbons as well as Ben Harms, traditional and non-traditional sculptures (which include even the ones by John Edward Carew and John Flaxman), and wall as well as the ceiling paintings by Louis Laguerre. Moreover, there is also an earthly globe by Emery Molyneux, which is believed to be he only one worldwide in its original 1592 state.
This stands in a seven hundred acre landscaped park called Petworth Park, which was well designed by Brown. However, the park is among the more popular in England, largely on description of several of its pictures which were painted by Turner. It is occupied by a large herd of fallow deer in England. There is also about thirty acre woodland garden called the Pleasure Ground (Green, p123).
For the last two hundred and fifty years, we find that the house and the estate have under the ownership of the Wyndham family.
The house and deer park were given to the state in 1947 and are currently under the management of the National Trust under the brand 'Petworth House and Park. However, the Leconfield Estates also possess much of the Petworth and the neighboring area. As a look into the lives of the previous estate workers, we find that the Petworth Cottage Museum has been situated in High Street.
Petworth House is the home to Petworth House Real Tennis Club. (Many similar private estates held real tennis courts.)
This is a large and large country house located in Woodstock, England. It is actually the only non-episcopal country house in the country to have the title 'Palace'. The palace which is one of the largest houses in England was constructed between 1705 and 1724. It was accepted and recognized as a UNESCO World heritage Site in the year 1987 (Girouard, p67).
Nonetheless, its construction was initially intended to be a present to John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough from an appreciative country in return for military victory against the Bavarians and French at the Battle of Blenheim. Is soon turned out to be the main subject of political squabbling, which resulted to Marlborough's exile, the fall from the power of his Duchess, and permanent damage to the status of the Sir John Vanbrugh, the architecture
Planned in the rare, and temporary, English baroque style, architectural admiration of the palace is divided today as it was during the 1720s. It is exceptional in its combined use as a mausoleum, family home, and a national monument. Moreover, the palace is also famous as the birthplace and the ancestral home of the Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (Turner, p30-32).
The sign above the large East gate provides a clear history of the construction of the palace, the reading: "Under the patronage of a munificent sovereign this house was constructed for John of Marlborough together with his Duchess Sarah, by Sir J Vanbrugh between 1705 and 1722. The Royal Manor of Woodstock and a grant of two hundred and forty thousand Euros towards the construction of Blenheim, was offered by Her Majesty Queen Anne and approved by act of parliament."
The fact is hat the construction of the palace was a minefield of political conspiracy, with scheming on a Machiavellian scale by Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough. Due to the completion of the palace, it has become the home of the Churchill family for the past three hundred years, and several members of the family have in that time produced many changes, inside gardens and park, whereby some are for the better, others for the worse.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the Churchills and the palace were saved from the mess by an American marriage. Hence, the exterior of the palace is still in good repair and exactly as completed.
Turner, R., Capability Brown and the Eighteenth Century English Landscape. Phillimore, Chichester, 2005, pp.30-32.
The book talks about Brown and his several contributions to the landscape design, including the establishment of many parks for the English nobility. Particularly fifteen of his landscapes (e.g., Blenheim) which are comprehensively covered.
Girouard, M., Life in the English Country House. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2001, p67
The author teases out these configurations and analyses the several ways the ideas of subjugation and mastery shaped Romantic artistic forms, from the literature and art to architecture and garden design.
Green, D., Blenheim Palace. Oxford: Alden Press. 2002, p123
The book focuses on a highly original area of inquiry, the urban underworld. It also offers tremendous insights into the cultural energies and the material flows of the tunnels, sewers and drains of Paris and London.
Halliday, E., Cultural History of England. London: Thames & Hudson. 2004, p152
This book displays the ease and confidence of somebody who really knows her subject. The author examines the comfortable interiors of England, the overstuffed chairs and sofas, dark woods, classic patters and the vibrant colors.
Harlin, R.,Historic Houses. London: Condé Nast Publications. 1999, p93
In this book, the author talks about the great architectural monuments in different cities of the world such as London, Athens and Paris