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The Art of the Garden

Paul Sandby (1731-1809)

The Norman Gateway and Moat Garden, Windsor Castle c. 1770

Pencil, pen and ink, watercolour and bodycolour | 37.4 x 51.0 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 914535

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A watercolour drawing of the Norman Gateway, Windsor Castle, seen from the Moat Garden. At the centre, a pedimented facade with sash windows. In the foreground, a boy is watering a circular bed at the centre of the garden, watched by a dog. The sheet is circumscribed with a black ink line and broad black wash border, and is mounted on a yellow and black wash line bordered mount.

As with many watercolours formerly owned by Sir Joseph Banks, there is a related bodycolour of the same view, with more figures, in the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (B1981.25.2691). A pencil drawing of the same subject, slightly further to the right, is in the Staatliche Museen Greiz (E 469). Another watercolour of the same subject is in the Royal Collection (RCIN 917757), as well as a view of the Norman Gateway from the approach to the North Terrace (RCIN 914534).

The dry ditch surrounding the Round Tower is well sheltered and the northern area has long been used as a flower garden. The southern ditch was formerly used for the cultivation of fruit and vegetables, but in 1836 this ended after Sir Jeffrey Wyatville warned that it might cause the collapse of the Round Tower and its boundary wall. The apartment seen at the back of the garden with the mid-eighteenth century pedimented facade was the Home of the Deputy Governor and then Castle Housekeeper. At this date it was the home of Lady Mary Churchill, Horace Walpole's half-sister, in her role as Castle Housekeeper.