Balthasar Nebot - Gardens of Hartwell House, Aylesbury - 2/8
One of a series of eight paintings by Balthasar Nebot (active 1729-1765) showing the spectacular garden landscape of Hartwell House, just outside Aylesbury, in 1738. Topiary has been used to great effect in order to create dramatic architectural forms. The central avenue leads up to the column with the William III statue, the right-hand one reveals a bust of John Hampden, and the left-hand leads to the menagerie. To the left can be seen part of the front of the house with an angel above the window. The formal green architecture of topiary hedges, with classical stone temples and statues of gods and goddesses, was balanced by informal views towards the town. Sir Thomas Lee (1687-1749) of Hartwell commissioned the painting from Nebot, a little-known Spanish painter, based in Covent Garden. They provide a unique record of a country estate and garden landscape at this time. The people of Hartwell family, visitors, household and estate staff and, especially the gardeners are also portrayed in great detail.
© The Bucks County Museum Art Collection / Mary Evans Picture Library