View of Privy-Garden, Westminster / Veue du Privy-Garden à Westminster

John Boydell (1719 - 1804)

Engraving

published 1751
  • About the work
    Location
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Downing Street

    This view of the Privy Garden at Whitehall Palace, Westminster, shows several groups of people, including uniformed guards, enjoying the garden and two men carrying someone in a sedan chair. In the collection of the Guildhall Library, London, there is a similar print, drawn and engraved by John Maurer (active 1713-1761) and published ten years before this version. Undoubtedly an inspiration to John Boydell, the artist of this work, Maurer’s version indicates that no significant alterations were made to this rather austere garden during the ten years.

    The scene is dominated by Inigo Jones’s Banqueting House to the right, which still survives today. The present day viewer might also recognise Westminster Abbey in the background. The two familiar towers of the Abbey were designed by architect Nicholas Hawksmoor and erected in 1745, just before this print was published.

  • About the artist
    John Boydell was born at Dorrington. He was apprenticed to an engraver for seven years before publishing his first volume of printed views of England and Wales in 1748. In 1752 he opened a print shop in Cheapside. Boydell later bought old plates, imported prints and sold works in France, Holland, Germany and Italy. In 1789 he opened his Shakespeare Gallery in Pall Mall and the first set of engravings based on paintings exhibited in the gallery was issued in 1791. Many leading artists exhibited at the venue. Later in life he sustained severe financial losses as a result of the French Revolution and was forced to dispose of his Shakespeare Gallery by lottery. He became an alderman of the City of London and rose to be Lord Mayor of London.
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  • Details
    Title
    View of Privy-Garden, Westminster / Veue du Privy-Garden à Westminster
    Date
    published 1751
    Medium
    Engraving
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Somerville and Simpson, April 1977
    GAC number
    13148