Kew's fame on the Continent
On the European Continent, Kew was the more famous of the two 18th
century gardens at Richmond and Kew. Many of the designs and 'Perspective
Views' included in Chambers' 1763 book were included in a 21-part
series on the "Details de Nouveaux Jardins a la Mode",
by G.L. Le Rouge, published between 1776 and 1787. Indeed, in his
1779 "Theory de l'Art des Jardins", Hirschfeld
stated "Most strangers… do not know of many more
gardens than Kew and Stowe".
In the light of this fame, it is likely that Kew influenced the
style of the World Heritage Site garden at Worlitz in Germany, as
suggested by the diary of a 1777 visitor, G F Ayer, to Worlitz.
He commented in his travel diary following his visit, "Kew
nach Worlitz". The sense of this is that "Worlitz
was based on Kew, or that when compared with the standard at Kew,
Worlitz was better". Worlitz was the centre of a 'garden-kingdom'
laid out by Prince Franz in the tiny state of Anhalt-Dessau between
1760 and 1817. One of these gardens was Oranienbaum, laid out between
1793 to 1797, which borrowed quite literally from Chamber's Kew
design, with a five-storey Pagoda, Chinese House, lake and Chinese
Bridgeman's designs at Richmond were an important part of the early
development of the English Landscape Garden, breaking away from
the formality of the French inspired gardens of the time. The gardens
at Kew completed the circle, inspiring French designers to create
the Jardin Anglo-Chinois. Modern garden historians acknowledge the
influence of both Chambers and the Jardin Anglo-Chinois at Kew upon
French gardens of the period. For example, Michel Baridon's book
"Les Jardins" contains a section on Chambers and his gardens
at Somerset House and Kew. Baridon states that Chambers' influence
in France was considerable, and as a result the term 'anglo-chinois'
was applied to 'jardins de la sensibilité'.
to: 1700-1772: Two Royal Gardens