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Sir John Vanbrugh, 1664–1726, British

Kings Weston, Bristol: Side Elevation

Former Title(s):

Kings Weston - Side Elevation

ca. 1710
Pen and brown ink on medium, slightly textured, white wove paper to a scale of 1/8 inch to 1 foot
14 9/16 x 18 9/16 inches (37 x 47.1 cm)

Watermark: IV and fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche and W below

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 | Baroque | country house | Palladian
Associated Places:
Associated People:
Vanbrugh, Sir John (1664–1726), playwright and architect
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IIIF Manifest:

This is part of a set of John Vanbrugh drawings for Kings Weston drawings at the Yale Center for British Art (B1977.14.1235–39). Kings Weston was one of Vanbrugh’s smaller commissions but also one of his finest. The house was built at the peak of the architect’s career, as he was completing Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. Edward Southwell, a moderate Tory and chief secretary to the lord lieutenant of Ireland, commissioned the design in 1710 to replace the existing sixteenth-century house. Built on a hillside overlooking the Bristol Channel, Kings Weston has a compact plan and a roofline characteristic of Vanbrugh’s style. The exterior has a monumental simplicity, with a restrained decorative scheme that is punctuated by a bold portico of Corinthian pilasters and a whimsical arcaded chimney stack. Inside, the house circulates around the central stairwell. Plans and an elevation of the building were published in Colen Campbell’s first volume of Vitruvius Britannicus (1715). The house was altered by Robert Mylne from 1763.
The rear elevation has two arms projecting to the north, flanking a small court. The principal stairwell occupies the three bays at the center on two floors, and bedroom suites are at both ends. The facade is minimally decorated, with a string course separating the attic story and a simple entablature crowning the whole building.

Madeleine Helmer, 2014

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