Friday, November 19, 2010

Liz Steel and Borromini at Kew Palace

This is a long overdue post about meeting up with Liz Steel (Liz and Borromini) and Alison Staite (Art Journey) at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in September.  Of course Borrowmini - as you can see below - was also there as well.

Liz and I sketched Kew Palace while Alison took photos!

Borromini inspects Liz's watercolour sketch of Kew Palace
photo by Katherine Tyrrell
Here's my sketch of Kew Palace

Kew Palace
11 x 17", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Large Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
We talked non-stop from when Liz arrived, all through the visit to the Waterlily House, all through the sketching, through our very late lunch in the Orangerie and didn't stop until I had to leave to go and get ready for the Threadneedle Dinner that evening.

Well if somebody is only over from Australia once in a while you don't want to waste any time!

Here's an action shot of Liz sketching lunch - see the crockery and the sketch in the same shot!  I loved her sweatband/brush wiper - that's a new one on me.

Liz sketches lunch - note the neat brush wiper!

I do so enjoy meeting up with people I've got to know online.  So often they are exactly as I expect them to be.  It was great meeting up and I hope we get to do it again sometime.  Maybe next time in Australia!

Kew Palace

Kew Palace is looked after by the Historic Royal Palaces Trust.  It was reopened to the public not that long ago after a very long and throrough restoration which took some 10 years.

Kew Palace is the oldest building at Kew Gardens and used to be known as the Dutch House.   It was used royal monarchs and their family between 1728 and 1898.
  • Queen Caroline leased several parcels of land and buildings in the hamlet of Kew which included Kew Palace while her husband King George II worked on extending Richmond Gardens.
  • Their son's wife Princess Augusta established the botanic gardens at Kew
  • Her son, King George III lived in various properties at Kew.  He bought Kew Palace in 1781 as a family home. 
  • In 1818, Kew Palace was closed after the death of George III's widow, Queen Charlotte
  • In December 1896, Queen Victoria agreed to Kew's acquisition of the Palace, providing there was no alteration to the room in which Queen Charlotte died. 
  • In 1898, the Kew's Department of Works acquired the Palace and it was opened to the public.
At the rear is the Queen's Garden.  This has been developed in the style of a seventeenth century garden and has only plants associated with the period.


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