The Hampton Court Albums

The Hampton Court Albums of Catherine the Great

Containing drawings, mainly of the palace and its surrounds, by Capability Brown's draughtsman and surveyor, John Spyers, purchased by Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia

  1. Introduction by Mikhail Piotrovsky
  2. Essays by Mikhail Dedinkin
  • ISBN 9781906257224
  • 32.00 x 23.00 cm
  • Quarterbound with jacket
  • 144pp
  • Illustrated in colour throughout
  • First published 2016
  • Distributed on behalf of Fontanka

An album of 100 watercolours and drawings of Capability Brown’s designs for Hampton Court Palace gardens which have never previously been seen

Two albums of drawings by Capability Brown’s draughtsman, John Spyers, were recently discovered in the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg and are here reproduced in their entirety. They are considered to be one of the most complete visual records of an historic landscape ever captured before photography.

Purchased by Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, in the early 1780s, they lay forgotten for over 200 years. The 149 drawings mainly depict Hampton Court Palace and its surrounding parks in the years when Capability Brown was Chief Gardener there (1764-83), appointed by George III. It has been suggested that Catherine used the albums as her inspiration for the landscaping of her new English Garden at Peterhof, outside St Petersburg.