Sir Humphry Repton

Sir Humphry Repton, b. April 21, 1752 in Bury St. Edmunds, England, d. March 24, 1818 in London, was the undisputed successor to Lancelot "Capability" Brown as the premier landscaper in 18th century England. In fact, Repton succeeded Brown as head gardener at Hampton Court. Repton was born of a well-to-do family and was intended for a mercantile career, but, failing in that, he turned to his love of landscapes and watercolor painting. He combined his talents to create a method of making watercolour drawings of the grounds upon which he was asked to advise, with his proposed changes on a page with the original landscape displayed on an overlay. In Act 1, Scene 1(p. 10), Noakes used this method, but in reverse order(original first, proposed changes in overlay). More about Repton's technique

Repton's first job as a landscaper came in 1788 after family friend the Duke of Portland invited him to make some alterations to his garden. Like other landscape gardeners, Repton also tried his hand at architecture, usually working with others who had the necessary professional qualifications. Repton, however, never attained the level of respect and fame in architecture that he did in landscaping. Repton's landscapes, seldom as large as Capability Brown's, were usually more thickly planted. Repton advocated a casual transition between house and grounds by means of terraces, steps, and balustrades. He was heavily influenced by the Picturesque movement, which advocated wild landscapes. Repton's aim in landscaping was to both articulate and reinforce the natural beauty of the landscape.

Much of Repton's work survives at least in part as he laid them out. Some of his more famous works include White Lodge in Richmond park, Harleston House and Park in Northampton, Barningham Hall in Norfolk, and Langley Park. Below are pictures and a brief description of each.

This is a picture of White Lodge in Richmond Park. Repton landscaped it for King GeorgeIII.

Above is the landscape Repton did for Barningham Hall in Norfolk in 1805. Notice Repton's use of the formal terrace.

Harleston House

This is Harleston House before and after Repton's work.

Langley Park

The picture above is a before-and-after of a cottage in Langley Park.

Pictures from Capability Brown and Humphry Repton by Edward Hyams, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, copyright 1971.

In Arcadia, we see that Noakes uses the sketch books that include overlays. Repton's sketches were kept in a series of Red Books, two of which are for Brandsbury and Glemham Hall. Repton also is the author of Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening.

Page by Steve Nelson and Terry Power

More about Repton and Landscape Gardening referenced in Arcadia
Picture of the gardens at Stour
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