BROOKE, After E. Adveno (active 1853-1861)
The Colonnade, Alton Gardens. The Seat of the Right Hnble. The Earl of Shrewsbury
London: Published by T. McLean, 1857. Colour-printed lithograph. Very good condition. Image size: 11 1/2 x 17 15/16 inches. Sheet size: 14 7/16 x 20 7/8 inches.
A stunning view of Alton gardens in Staffordshire, from the "The Gardens of England."
Published in 1857, The Gardens of England is a series of 24 plates with accompanying text depicting the diverse luxuriant gardens of various distinguished English mansions. The mid-nineteenth century was a period during which the traditional aesthetics of garden design underwent a significant change in England, as innovative ideas and concepts were being continually introduced and explored. Brooke's publication embodies the eclectic nature of Victorian garden design and constitutes an important visual survey of the varied styles that were popular among the wealthy and fashionable. Created at the behest of the unconventional 15th Earl of Shrewsbury between 1814 and 1827, Alton Gardens, otherwise known as Alton Towers, was one of the finest and earliest examples of the "Mixed or Gardenesque style" invented by the renowned landscape designer and author Humphry Repton. This particular type of garden design was essentially a collection of various types of trees and plants and garden edifices. Among the assorted decorative structures at Alton Towers was the Colonnnade pictured here, a Pagoda Fountain, a Swiss Cottage, and a Dutch Garden. Alton Towers is now a large theme park. Little is known about E. Adveno Brooke, other than that he exhibited at the Royal Academy and British Institution between 1853 and 1864 and his most significant publication was The Gardens of England.
Cf. Abbey, Scenery of Great Britain and Ireland, 392; cf. Cf. Benezit, Dictionnaire Des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, Vol. 2, p. 842.