Hampton Court Albums

The Hampton Court Albums of Catherine the Great

Two albums of drawings of Hampton Court Palace by Capability Brown’s draughtsman, John Spyers, were discovered in the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg and are now considered one of the most complete visual records of an historic landscape ever captured before photography. They were purchased by Catherine the Great in 1783 but lay forgotten for over 200 years. The 149 drawings show mainly the palace and its surrounding parks in the years when Capability Brown was Chief Gardener there (1764-83), appointed by George III. For Catherine the album served as a crucial source of visual information and inspiration when she created her English Park at Peterhof. 

144pp, hardback, 320 x 230mm, 175 illustrations
ISBN: 978-1906257-22-4
£32; $45
Distributed by Thames and Hudson (Europe)
and Antique Collectors Club (North America)

The most sumptuous production ... Delightful in their own right, the drawings confirm the importance of Brown's royal commission at Hampton Court, as well as the extent of the Empress's love of all things English (Country Life)

This attractive book [gives] a wonderful snapshot of the royal palace in the eighteenth century, and includes excellent essays on the albums and their creator (A Magazine for RIBA Friends of Architecture)

Now a fascinating exhibition, The Empress And The Gardener, these long-lost paintings ... are the most complete record of any historic landscape before photography (Daily Mail)
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