Saturday, June 20, 2015

1738 Hartwell House - 8 views including gardeners by Balthasar Nebot (1700-1770)



1738 Balthasar Nebot (Spanish-born British artist, 1700-1770) The Allees & Arcades behind Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire. This view of gardeners clipping hedges, removing cut grass, & rolling the walks was painted from the steps in front of the menagerie looking down towards the long canal.  The topiary arcades create views down to the long canal & to Aylesbury beyond.

When Sir Thomas Lee  (1687-1749) married a wealthy heiress, Elizabeth Sandys, in 1720, he began to transform the Hartwell gardens.  He brought in the architect James Gibbs to build an Egyptian obelisk & pyramid; classical temples inspired by Greece & Rome; columns; statues; a menagerie; & a Gothic tower. Lee commissioned Balthasar Nebot, a little-known Spanish painter, based in Covent Garden, to paint 8 views of his gardens & grounds.  The people of Hartwell – family, visitors, household & estate staff &, especially the gardeners – are also portrayed in great detail.


1738 Balthasar Nebot (Spanish-born British artist, 1700-1770) The Bowling Green & the Octagon Pond, Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire.  Gentlemen play a game of bowls on the green in front of the house.


 1738 Balthasar Nebot (Spanish-born British artist, 1700-1770) The Long Canal &Gibbs Temple, Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire.  Here is a ha-haa wall set in a ditch that kept the animals out, while not interrupting the view of the landscape. Gardeners are clipping and removing grass.


1738 Balthasar Nebot (Spanish-born British artist, 1700-1770) The North West Woodlands with Gardeners Scything, Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire.  The man & woman could look north past the statue through the wilderness to the countryside beyond, while they talk.  Gardeners are maintaining the grasses with scythes as the servants chat.


1738 Balthasar Nebot (Spanish-born British artist, 1700-1770) The Octagon Pond, Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire. This view looks out from the octagon pavilion across the octagon pond to Aylesbury.  Guests stroll through the topiary arcades & around the long canal.  The house can be seen to the right.


1738 Balthasar Nebot (Spanish-born British artist, 1700-1770) The Topiary Arcades & George II Column, Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire.  Here, as gardeners are maintaining the grasses with scythes, the mature topiary creates dramatic architectural forms.  The central avenue leads up to the column with the William III statue, the right reveals a bust of John Hampden, & the left leads to the menagerie.  To the left can be seen part of the front of the house with an angel above the window.


1738 Balthasar Nebot (Spanish-born British artist, 1700-1770) The Topiary Exhedra with a View of the Obelisk, Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire.  Here riders gather at the mature topiary exhedra, created by carefully by the gardeners' training & clipping evergreens to form pieces of green architecture.


1738 Balthasar Nebot (Spanish-born British artist, 1700-1770) The Wilderness, Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire.  As gardeners roll the grass & discard cut grasses & fallen debris, near the statue of Hercules, they may a glimpse through an opening to the long canal; the William III column; the menagerie; the tower of the medieval parish church; an arcaded pavilion; a Gothic tower; & a pyramid.


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