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William Kent, ca.1686–1748

Townsend's Building at Rousham, Oxfordshire: Elevation and Plan

Additional Title(s):

Design for Townsend's Building at Rousham, Oxfordshire

ca. 1738
Graphite, pen and brown wash within single-ruled pencil border on moderately thick, slightly textured, cream laid paper
Sheet: 13 1/2 x 9 11/16 inches (34.3 x 24.6 cm)

Inscribed in pen and black ink, center, scale labeled: "10", "5", and "20 ft"


Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawing & Watercolors-Architectural
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
architectural subject | floor plans | pavilions (garden structures)
Associated Places:
England | Europe | Oxfordshire | Rousham | United Kingdom
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

Colonel Robert Dormer commissioned William Kent to alter the house and gardens at Rousham, Oxfordshire, from 1737 to 1741. This drawing may be a preliminary design for the Townsend temple at Rousham, though the executed temple sits on a site that is too small for this design. The proposed temple consists of an elongated octagonal building between porches, faced with an Ionic order and raised on a low stepped podium. The temple as built is also octagonal in plan but it is much smaller, with a Doric portico in antis and a seat inside. This drawing, however, envisages a much larger building at approximately 42 feet wide, with a 22-foot wide center range. On the front elevation, attached columns frame the door and pilasters mark the corners. The drawing is recognizably Kent’s, with his unsteady pen line, hatching for emphasis, and a bar scale in his hand. The tree in the background is similar to another drawing by him in the Center’s collection (see entrance screen B1975.2.151).

Madeleine Helmer, 2014

The Early Georgian Landscape Garden (Yale Center for British Art, 1983-04-20 - 1983-06-26) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

John Wilmerding, Essays in honor of Paul Mellon, collector and benefactor, Essays , National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC & Hanover, NH, 1986, p. 139, fig. 2, N7442.2 M455 1986 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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