Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening

Author: Humphry Repton (British, Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk 1752–1818 Romford, Essex)

Publisher: William Bulmer & Co. (London)

Dedicatee: George III, King of Great Britain and Ireland (British, London 1738–1820 Windsor)

Date: 1795

Medium: Illustrations: aquatint, hand colored

Dimensions: book:: 15 3/16 x 11 in. (38.6 x 27.9 cm)
plate: 7 1/16 x 10 3/16 in. (18 x 25.8 cm) (approx.)

Classification: Books

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1945

Accession Number: 45.10.1


Repton published this hand-colored aquatint of the estate of Brandsbury in Middlesex (a vanished site in what is now Brondesbury, London) in Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening (1795). One of the first estates that Repton "improved," it is depicted here with liftable flaps to show the site before and after his alternations. In this case, a fence was removed, to open up the view over rolling meadows filled with picturesque grazing cattle. Repton became England's leading landscape designer after the death of Lancelot "Capability" Brown in 1783, and his success rested partly on his skilled presentation of ideas to clients in appealing before and after watercolor drawings. Bound in morrocan leather, these sets of drawings became known as his "Red Books." The Brandsbury "Red Book" was the first of at least 300 that Repton created during his long career.