Somerset House, Strand, London, England
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A watercolour and bodycolour drawing of the front of the Ranger's Lodge (now Cumberland Lodge), with old buildings and stables on the right. At the centre, the Duke of Cumberland leaves the house in a carriage. Deer and ostriches in the parkland. Watermark: Strasburg Lily/ LVG, with countermark IHS/ I VILLEDARY. The remains of a narrow line and wash border.
William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, was Ranger of Windsor Great Park from 1746, residing at the Ranger's Lodge. Thomas Sandby worked for the Duke on his military campaigns and continued to do so during his period as Ranger as architect and draughtsman. After his appointment the Duke embarked on an extensive programme of refurbishments to the Great Park, and in 1754 Thomas and Paul Sandby published a set of prints, the Eight Views of Windsor Great Park, comprising views of the Duke's most prominent projects in the park. This watercolour relates to a print of the Ranger's Lodge in that set. It records the appearance of the Lodge and the new stables extended by the Duke, before the construction of a new wing designed by Thomas Sandby in the late 1750s. In 1754 Dr Richard Pococke described the exotic birds kept by the Duke, 'The Duke has wild beasts here, and I saw an ostrich walking in the lawn near the house. It is incredible how fine a place this is made, from being the most disagreeable and uncultivated, and the whole country round it is in a state of great improvement' (Pococke Travels, p. 6).
The description of the drawing in Paul Sandby's estate sale gives the work a date of 1768. However, as this date was both after the death of the Duke and after Sandby's remodelling of the Lodge, this is assumed to be an error, and the drawing is more likely to have been made in connection with the 1754 print as a coloured version of the final composition. Two pencil and wash studies of the same subject are RCINs 914625 and 914626. One of the figures is 914486.
Descriptive Medium: 'Pencil, pen and ink, watercolour and bodycolour', 'pen and ink', 'watercolour painting'