A View of the Garden etc. at Carlton House in Pall Mall, a Palace of Her Royal Highness the Princess Dowager of Wales / Vue du Jardin de Carlton House, Palais de S.A.R. La Princess Douairiere de Galles
About the work
This peaceful scene shows the central vista of the garden at Carlton House (now destroyed), in Pall Mall, London. Several gardeners work on the grounds, which include a Palladian temple, bust statues arranged within the shrubbery, sculpted hedges and two small ponds. The spire of St Martin-in-the-Fields, seen just above the tree tops, left of centre, is the only indication that this garden is located in central London.
William Woollett both drew and engraved this work. When it was first published in 1760 it was one of Woollett’s earliest prints. However, the exact date of this later edition has yet to be ascertained. Prints illustrating the private gardens of aristocrats were commonly published from the 1740s onwards and particularly appealed to the middle classes, who were given access to such gardens while the owners were away. The large market for garden prints is suggested by the three publishers, named in the lettering below this image. This lettering also dedicates the print to ‘the Princess Dowager of Wales’, Augusta (1719-1772), who was then resident at Carlton House. Augusta was the consort of the first child of George II, Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, who died unexpectedly in 1751, aged just 44.
About the artist
William Woollett was the son of an innkeeper, from Maidstone, Kent. In 1750 he was apprenticed to John Tinney at the Goldsmith’s Company. By 1759, he was studying at St Martin’s Lane Academy. Three years later he married Hannah but, after their five children died in infancy, Hannah also died in 1770. Woollett was later remarried to Elizabeth. His earliest prints are of country houses and gardens, after his own designs. He was first employed by John Boydell in 1760. His engraving after Richard Wilson’s ‘The Destruction of the Children of Niobe’ won him considerable critical acclaim and, as a result, Alan Ramsay invited him to engrave his portrait of George III. Woollett reportedly died ‘from the effect of an accident, unskilfully treated’.
- A View of the Garden etc. at Carlton House in Pall Mall, a Palace of Her Royal Highness the Princess Dowager of Wales / Vue du Jardin de Carlton House, Palais de S.A.R. La Princess Douairiere de Galles
- Coloured engraving
- Purchased from Frank T Sabin, October 1963
- GAC number