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Jean B. C. Chatelain, 1710–1771, French

A View of the Rotunda in the Garden at Stowe, Buckinghamshire

Additional Title(s):

The Rotunda and the Queen's Theater, Stowe

Watercolor and graphite on medium, slightly textured, cream laid paper
Sheet: 9 1/8 x 12 3/4 inches (23.2 x 32.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
architectural subject | columns | gardeners | gardens | pool | rakes | rotundas (interior spaces) | statuary | statues | trees | views | water
Associated Places:
Buckinghamshire | England | Europe | Stowe | Stowe Landscape Gardens | United Kingdom
Associated People:
View by request in the Study Room
IIIF Manifest:

A well-known teacher, draftsman, and engraver of landscapes, Chatelain often assisted topographical landscape artists with their work. This drawing was part of a series of views of Stow engeraved in 1753 by George Bickham Jr. for his Sixteen Perspective Views, Together with a General Plan of the Magnificent Buildings of Stowe. While not an architect himself, Chatelain's role in depicting and disseminating architecture to a larger public was an important part of the architectural practice, as it raised public awareness of architectural styles and important structures.

The gardens at Stowe, the home of Richard Temple, Viscount Cobham, were a subject of popular interest because of their reconstruction throughout the early eighteenth century by Temple and Charles Bridgeman. They attracted architects such as Sir John Vanbrugh (cat. 110), who designed this rotunda (1721), and William Kent (cat. 113). Lancelot "Capability" Brown was head gardener at Stow in 1741. Chatelain presents the landscape at Stowe as pastoral and idyll; framed by the Ionic columns of the rotunda on the left and the majestic trees on the right, diminutive picturesque workers rest or assume classical poses. This view would change drastically soon afterward, as the monument and canal in the distance as well as surrounding trees, were removed to provide a central vista from the garden façade of the house.

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. 136 cat. no. 114

Country houses in Great Britain., Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1979, pp. 14, 71, no. 58, N6764 Y34 1979 (YCBA)

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