Capability Brown by John Phibbs
Designing the English Landscape

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Phipps writes that Capability Brown, “liked to call himself a ‘place-maker,’ but was more often described as a magician. That sense of magic and mystery persists as we try to understand Brown today.” This book certainly captures the magic.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

In celebration of his 300th year, a definitive survey of Capability Brown’s most famous gardens and landscapes in Britain. Widely acknowledged as the most influential landscape designer of his age, Lancelot "Capability" Brown was to England what Frederick Law Olmsted was to America—responsible for shaping the very ideal of the nation’s parkland. Brown’s ambition was to bring out of a landscape the best of its potential rather than impose his own ideas upon it. His designs are organic, weaving gestures of color and perspective into the features that the country already afforded. So natural are his designs, and so perfectly do they complement the houses within them, that for many a Capability Brown landscape is the epitome of the English estate. His gardens and parklands—as much as the houses themselves—would become icons of British country life. Published to coincide with the tercentenary of his birth, this remarkable book illuminates fifteen of Brown’s most celebrated landscapes. To love the great English estates is to love the settings with which Brown surrounded them—from idyllic parklands at Milton and Broadlands to structured landscapes around iconic houses at Blenheim, Burghley, Wakefield, and Chatsworth. With photography commissioned for the book, and including rarely seen archival drawings that shed light on Brown’s process, this book serves as a guide to Britain’s most beloved landscapes and an exploration of the masterful mind behind their creation.
 

About John Phibbs

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John Phibbs set up the Capability Brown 1716–2016 Partnership and is a renowned garden historian and author with more than thirty years’ experience in the management and restoration of historic landscapes.Joe Cornish is an award-winning landscape photographer and an honorary fellow of the Royal Photographic Society with a studio and gallery in Yorkshire, England.
Author Residence: LONDON, YORKSHIRE
 
Published October 25, 2016 by Rizzoli. 280 pages
Genres: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Arts & Photography.
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NY Journal of Books

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Reviewed by Catriona Tudor Erler on Nov 03 2016

Phipps writes that Capability Brown, “liked to call himself a ‘place-maker,’ but was more often described as a magician. That sense of magic and mystery persists as we try to understand Brown today.” This book certainly captures the magic.

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