Monday, August 16, 2010

Sketching Syon Vista

Last week we went to Kew Gardens and I sat on the steps leading up to the Palm House and drew Syon Vista with the new Lavender beds in the foreground.

Syon Vista from the Palm House, Kew Gardens
11.5" x 17", pen ans sepia ink and coloured pencilsin large Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

This is my plein air sketch.  I'm really enjoying my large Moleskine sketchbook as a double page spread gives me a good size to work with.  You can see the photos I took while trying to work out the best composition in Kew Gardens 11th August 2010 on Flickr.  I find that using the LCD screen on a digital camera is a really good way of working out a crop for a plein air sketch.  I went for a cropped further version of the second photo.

As always when posting these sketches I end up learning a bit more about the history and heritage of an aspect of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.
Syon Vista is a major feature in the Nesfield/Burton landscape. This part of the Gardens was originally part of Richmond Gardens, but its character is dominated by the 1845 and later design of Nesfield and the Hookers.

The view along the Vista to Syon House across the Thames make this possibly one of the the most visited areas at Kew.
Kew Gardens - History and Heritage
I never knew before today that the Vistas which raidiate out from the Palm House are the work of one man - Willian Nesfield
William Andrews Nesfield (1793-1881)
Nesfield was at first a soldier who later turned to drawing water colours. However, he found his real vocation in landscape design, gaining his first commission in 1836. This was the start of a long flourishing career, working on over 260 estates belonging to the most wealthy and influential people of the day. In 1844, he was asked to re-design the arboretum at Kew. His extensive plans included a number of vistas stemming from the Palm House, a parterre, the remodelling of the formal structure landscape around the Palm House as well as the Palm House Pond. One vista pointed south, called the Pagoda Vista, another facing west towards the Thames was called the Syon Vista. Although eroded in detail by time, Nesfield’s formal structured landscapes surrounding the Palm House, as well as his arboretum design and vistas, have largely kept their structure today.
I've added a "location" to this post but I'm not quite sure how this works in Bloggger - just off to find out.

You can see other sketches from Kew Gardens on this blog and in my Parks and Gardens in London gallery on my website

1 comment:

  1. This is a great spread and I enjoyed the history lesson too.


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