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William Kent, ca.1686–1748

King's Mews, Charing Cross, London: Section

Former Title(s):

Kings Mews, Charing Cross

Graphite, pen and black ink and brown wash on moderately thick, slightly textured, cream laid paper
Sheet: 9 7/8 x 12 7/8 inches (25.1 x 32.7 cm)

Inscribed with dimensions in wash, from left to right: "1.5", "4", "11 1/2", "18.0 1/2", "8.0", "1.0", "3", "21.0", "20.1", "4.4", "1.5"; inscribed on verso in pen and black ink: "For ye Kings Mews"; in feint pencil: "1.1", "27.8"

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 | dogs (animals) | horses (animals) | mews | stables
Associated Places:
Charing Cross | England | Europe | Greater London | London | United Kingdom
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IIIF Manifest:

Erected in 1732, the King's Mews at Charing Cross was admired for its grand scale and pristine interiors. Housing fifty-six stalls for the crown’s horses, the stables replaced an older Royal Mews on the same site. The Mews was designed early in William Kent's architectural career, during his time as master carpenter on the Board of Works. The building's long concatenated front elevation is reminiscent of Kent's designs for Holkham Hall, begun immediately after the Mews in 1733.

As shown in this cross section, the building consisted of a central aisle flanked by box stalls. The entrance front, on the left-hand side of this drawing, was faced with banded rusticated columns and blind relief arches with glazed crowns. The semicircular windows placed high on the walls provided adequate ventilation in the stalls. The drawing is in Kent’s own hand and shows the design after it was revised in August 1731. The sheet is decorated with Kent's distinctive marginalia, here consisting of two horses' heads and a hound. The purpose of these lively sketches is unclear; it would seem that they were added at a later date, perhaps as an effort to add artistic value to an otherwise utilitarian drawing.n
Madeleine Helmer, 2014

John Wilmerding, Essays in honor of Paul Mellon, collector and benefactor, Essays , National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC & Hanover, NH, 1986, p. 140, fig. 3, N7442.2 M455 1986 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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