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Room 23: Sculpture in Britain - Garden Sculpture

Garden urn, Guildford, England, about 1800. Museum no. A.85-1921

'Sunna' by J.M. Rysbrack, England, c.1728-30. Portland stone. Museum no. A.2-1997


 

The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries

During the 18th century garden sculpture became increasingly popular in Britain. Statues, monuments, temples and follies peopled extensive landscaped gardens. Among the most celebrated were the gardens at Stourhead and Stowe, which survive to this day.

Many of the sculptors were not born in Britain, but spent some or all of their working lives here. Many came from the Netherlands, for example Rysbrack, who did both portraits and garden sculpture, and Carpenter (or Carpentière), who specialised in lead sculpture. The subjects were mainly drawn from classical mythology, partly because the patrons and collectors were emulating classical and Italian Renaissance gardens.

Room 23 is on Level 1 of the V&A South Kensington

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