Humphry Repton (1752 – 1818) was one of the last greatest English landscape designers of the eighteenth century. He mastered both his craft and self-promotion. Repton had several commissions of gardens and with his growing popularity, he had decided to publish a book of Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening in 1795. This book followed the layout of the “Red Books” that he had produced for his clients – full of advisement to their estates elaborately describing each specific detail. His sketch books were easily distinguishable by his “before” and “after” pictures of his recommendations. Many of his commissions were both terraces and garden close to houses.
The detailed watercolors contained flaps that lifted or swept to the side to show in turn the existing landscape and how he proposed to improve it. They are archived in museums, national and municipal properties, and private homes across England. Repton’s conscious decision to document his ideas made him one of the greatest examples of English landscape designers prior to the 19th century.
“Sketches and hints on landscape gardening : collected from designs and observations now in the possession of the different noblemen and gentlemen, for whose use they were originally made : the whole tending to establish fixed principles in the art of laying out ground” – Humphry Repton. Published in 1794.