Badminton in the County of Gloucester, one of the Seats of the Most Noble and Potent Prince Henry Duke of Beaufort
About the work
This engraving formed part of a series of similar views titled ‘Britannia Illustrata’. First published in 1707, the work included 80 topographical views of large country estates.
The impressive estate of Badminton in Gloucestershire is seen here, in particular its vast gardens which include formal avenues and precise, regular planting, creating an extensive complex of geometric designs.
Badminton House remains the principal seat of the Dukes of Beaufort. In 1700 the estate was inherited by politician Henry Somerset, second Duke of Beaufort (1684–1714), the owner at the time this print was published. The second Duke’s wife, Mary Somerset, Duchess of Beaufort, developed the impressive gardens at Badminton. They included what was then perhaps the most extensive collection of exotic plants and flowers in England. The Duchess was an amateur botanist and travelled to Surinam in South America sometime between 1699 and 1701, to collect plants and insects, where she met with German-born naturalist and scientific illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian. The Duchess’ gardening observations were compiled by her into twelve-volumes.
About the artist
Leendert Knijff, better known as Leonard Knyff, was born in Haarlem in 1650 and followed his brother Jacob (also an artist) to London at some point after 1676. In 1694, Knyff was made a British citizen. He began his career painting still lifes but became better-known in Britain for his views of gardens and country houses. The birds-eye view format, which was popularised in the UK by Knyff, is thought to have first been introduced to the British landscape tradition by his brother, Jacob.
Leonard Knyff (1650 - 1722)
- Badminton in the County of Gloucester, one of the Seats of the Most Noble and Potent Prince Henry Duke of Beaufort
- published c.1707
- Coloured engraving
- height: 40.30 cm, width: 51.40 cm
- Purchased from Parker Gallery, February 1977
- GAC number