Gardening Magazine

Painting Paradise: The Art Of The Garden

By David Marsden @anxiousgardener

I wasn’t expecting an invitation to tea with the Queen.


And I didn’t get one.  But I did receive an invite to a ‘Bloggers’ Breakfast’ followed by a preview of ‘Painting Paradise’ – the new exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace.  Pulling on smart clothes (of a sort) and fishing bits of bramble out of my beard, I flunked off work and scurried up to town.


The Family of Henry VIII, British School, c. 1545 – with a glimpse of Whitehall Palace garden

After coffee, pastries and mingling, we entered the galleries for an expertly guided tour by the curators.   Here are just a few of the works I particularly liked (and was able to photograph in low light):


Portrait of Jacopo Cennini, Franciabigio, 1523

the earliest surviving portrait of a professional gardener (looking uncannily like Mark Rylance’s Thomas Cromwell);


A View Of Hampton Court, Leonard Knyff, c. 1703 – with avenues formed by two thousand lime trees

an incredibly detailed panorama of William III’s new gardens at Hampton Court;

The Norman Gateway and Moat Garden, Windsor Castle Paul Sandby, c. 1770

The Norman Gateway and Moat Garden, Windsor Castle, Paul Sandby, c. 1770

an early, and rare, depiction of a gardener at work (with dog, if no mug of tea);


July Border, Beatrice Emma Parsons, c. 1910 – 20

and a vibrant watercolour of Jekyll inspired planting, bringing to my mind the long borders at Nymans.


Detail, The Sunflower Clock, Vincennes porcelain factory (1738-56)

I loved this intimate, absorbing exhibition featuring a rich and varied array of decorative arts: paintings, manuscripts, da Vinci drawings (see header photo), sculpture, porcelain


Fabergé Cornflowers and Oats Study

and jewels; all from the Queen’s private collection and many on public view for the first time.

‘Painting Paradise: The Art of the Garden’ opened on 20th March and runs until 11 October 2015.  For more information see:  The Royal Collection Website

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