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William Henry Toms (c. 1700-c. 1750)

St James's Palace and Parts adjacent. 1736

RCIN 703041

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The designer André Mollet (d. c.1665) recognised in his treatise Le Jardin de Plaisir (1651) the importance of opening up views and walks from the central axis aligned on a building. However, this could not always be achieved. Mollet was commissioned by Charles II to create a new Privy Garden at St James’s Palace in 1661, seen here in the distance in the centre. As the garden lay at an oblique angle from the palace (lower left) and beyond an intervening road, Mollet was obliged to omit ornamental parterres, because ‘there is no place near it from which it may be view’d from on high’.