A comparative study of Lady Hertford’s grotto at Marlborough and William Kent’s illustration of Spring in James Thomson's The Seasons. Richard D A Lamont
‘Poetry, Painting and Gardening, or the Science of Landscape, will forever by men of taste be deemed Three Sisters, or the Three Graces who dress and Adorn Nature’. (Horace Walpole)
In a reading of William Kent’s illustration of Spring in James Thomson's The Seasons (1730), this essay offers an interpretation which connects the artefact with Lady Hertford’s grotto in Marlborough, Wiltshire, designed and constructed between 1725 and 1735. This essay examines both the shared landscapes, contexts and oppositions of the two artefacts and shall illustrate the interconnectivity and significant developments between poetry, painting and gardening in the 1720s - with Lady Hertford as patron, muse and innovator.