Painting the Gardens of the Golden Age

The period leading up to the Great War was the Golden Age of British gardening, but it was also the Golden Age of Garden Painting. Until the mid-19thc gardens were never a major subject for artists but then, quite quickly they takes centre stage. This is partly because of a growing interest in gardening and partly because art was now becoming more commercialised. Many garden artists worked in watercolour, a much more affordable medium for the growing number of middle class collectors. There were more artists societies, more commercial galleries and exhibitions of living artists work and more opportunities for their work to be used in colour in books, magazines and prints.

Amongst the leading exponents of garden painting were George Elgood and Arthur Rowe who painted gardens of the country house estates combining nostalgia for old-fashioned gardens with historical revivalism in architecture. Like their later counter[part Beatrice Parsons their paintings were romantic in style, lush and soft in colour and light. The gardens of the Golden Age are their creation.