Written and designed by Humphry Repton (British, 17521818)
Published by W. Bulmer & Co., London
Aquatint, handcolored; 15 13/16 x 11 in. (38.6 x 27.9 cm), plate: 7 1/16 x 10 3/16 in. (18 x 25.8 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1945 (45.10.1)
Humphry Repton (British, 17521818) published this handcolored aquatint of the estate of Brandsbury in Middlesex (vanished seat in what is now Brondesbury, London) in Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening (1795). The Brandsbury estate, one of the first Repton would improve, is depicted before and after improvements. In this case, Repton suggested the removal of a long fence, which completely blocked the view over the extensive meadows and the much sought after picturesque staffage of peacefully grazing cattle. Repton would become England's leading landscape designer after the death of Lancelot "Capability" Brown in 1783, in part due to his appealing way of presenting proposed improvements in beautiful watercolor drawings. Repton gathered these drawings in elegantly bound "Red Books," named for their moroccan leather bindings. Soon to be the trademark of his style, the Brandsbury Book was the first among at least 300 of such "Red Books" presented by Repton to his clients during his long career.