A view of Kings Weston was recently sent to us which shows the house from an unusual angle. The view, painted in 1796, shows the prospect across the parkland from the South Walk, with the house framed in a naturalistic manner by groves of trees. This is the first illustration from this angle we’ve come across and is of particular note as it closely matches the views that KWAG restored during last year’s Lifting the Curtain project. The same angle is approximated in the masthead photo at the top of this month’s newsletter.
The artist was George Heriot, a Scottish-born Civil servant who, at this time, had moved to the colonies of Canada. He returned briefly in 1796, when he painted this image, before returning to North America and developing a reputation as a major figure in Canadian Art. This painting demonstrates not just the artist’s skill, but also that of the landscape designer. Edward Southwell III had de-formalised the grounds around the house in the 1760’s and we might assume that these copses of trees were planted at about that time to create picturesque framed views of his home.