Recent Release: Thomas Robins and the Art of the Georgian Garden

December 30 2021

Image of Recent Release: Thomas Robins and the Art of the Georgian Garden

Picture: Stephen Morris

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's a recent release that I missed a month ago. Cathryn Spence's latest book entitled Nature’s Favourite Child: Thomas Robins and the Art of the Georgian Garden has recently been released by Stephen Morris.

According to the blurb published by

Thomas Robins the Elder (1716-1770) recorded the country estates of the Georgian gentry – their orchards, Rococo gardens and potagers – like no other, with both topographical accuracy and delightful artistry, often bordering his gouaches with entrancing tendrils, shells, leaves and birds. His skill was honed by the delicacy required for his early career as a fan painter and is shown too in his exquisite paintings of butterflies, flowers and birds. This ravishing and scholarly study emerges from many years’ research by Dr Cathryn Spence, the curator and archivist at Bowood House who has also worked for the V&A, the American Museum, the Bath Preservation Trust and the National Trust. This is the first full study of Thomas Robins since John Harris’s Gardens of Delight, published in 2 vols in 1978; Harris in fact made over all his research notes to Spence in 2005 when she embarked on her work. Chinoiserie is everywhere – a wooden bridge over the Thames, delicious kiosks in a garden, a view of Bath with sampans and Chinese fishermen on the river. There are also fascinating views of Sudeley Castle and other great houses that incorporated more or less ruined monastic structures, destroyed in the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Spence has tracked down many previously unknown paintings by Robins, and sets his elusive life and work in the framework of his patrons.

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