The Hampton Court Albums
of Catherine the Great

Two albums of drawings of Hampton Court Palace by Capability Brown’s draughtsman, John Spyers, were discovered in the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg and are now considered one of the most complete visual records of an historic landscape ever captured before photography. They were purchased by Catherine the Great in 1783 but lay forgotten for over 200 years. The 149 drawings show mainly the palace and its surrounding parks in the years when Capability Brown was Chief Gardener there (1764–83), appointed by George III. For Catherine the album served as a crucial source of visual information and inspiration when she created her English Park at Peterhof.

Quarter-bound and features specially commissioned marbling by Katherine Brett to recreate the original marble paper that covers the now faded albums.

Published by Fontanka