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Sir William Chambers, 1723–1796
Facade for a Temple of Peace, Kew Gardens, Surrey
Additional Title(s):
Design for the Temple of Peace
ca. 1763
Materials & Techniques:
Graphite, pen and black ink, watercolor and gray wash on moderately thick, moderately textured, cream laid paper
Sheet: 12 5/8 x 18 3/4 inches (32.1 x 47.6 cm)

Inscribed in pen and brown ink, lower center, bar scale numbered "6", "12", and "18 ft"; in graphite, upper right: "2"; inscribed on verso in graphite, upper right: "W603/3"

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 | facade | Neoclassical | peace | temple
Associated Places:
England | London | Richmond upon Thames | Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew | Surrey | United Kingdom
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IIIF Manifest:

Chambers spent the early 1750s in Rome, and his friendships with visiting noblemen become advantageous business contacts, as Lord Bute recommended him as tutor in architecture to George, Orince of Wales ( the future King George III), in 1756. Through these royal connections, the Dowager Princess Augusta, the widow of Prince Frederick, commissioned Chambers to design Prince Frederick's mausoleum, and she enlisted him in her project to redesign Kew Gardens. Lord Bute, director of the project, planned to create a scientific botanic garden amid this royal retreat in the Surrey countryside new greenhouses were built, existing buildings were moved, and Chambers set about designing new garden structures in a variety of architectural styles. Although it was never built due to financial concerns on the part of the patroness, the Temple of Peace was planned as part of an excursion through the classical themes and motifs in a garden that presented a tour of world d architecture, including Chamber's celebrated Chinese-style Pagoda. Chambers presents the viewer with the elevation of the Temple, appropriately shaded to give some indication of depth. The Ionic columns would have echoed those of the diminutive temple of Arethusa, located nearby, while the sculpted pediment and entablature surpassed it in grandeur.
In 1763 Chambers recorded his involvement in the redesign of Kew Gardens with the publication of Plans, Elevations, Sections, and Perspective Views of the Gardens and Buildings at Kew in Surry, and he remained architect there until the death of Princess Augusta in 1772.

Morna O'Neill

Wilcox, Forrester, O'Neil, Sloan. The Line of Beauty: British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2001. pg. 139 cat. no. 117

The Line of Beauty : British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century (Yale Center for British Art, 2001-05-19 - 2001-08-05) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

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

British Architectural Drawings (Yale Center for British Art) (Yale Center for British Art, 1982-04-21 - 1982-05-30) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

John Harris, Sir William Chambers : Architect to George III, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1996, pp. 55-67, NJ18 .C37 S57 1996 (YCBA) [YCBA]

John Harris, Sir William Chambers : Knight of the polar star, Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA, 1970, p. 38, NJ18 .C37 H37 1970 + Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Kimerly Rorschach, The early Georgian landscape garden, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1983, pp. 72, 105, no. 76, SB467.78 .G7 R67 Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Scott Wilcox, Line of beauty : British drawings and watercolors of the eighteenth century, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2001, p. 139, no. 117, NC228 W53 2001 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Eric R. Wolterstorff, British architectural drawings, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Conn., 1982, p. 9, no. 9, V 0251 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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