The Pantheon, Stourhead, Wiltshire watercolour 39 x 54 cm. (15 1/2 x 21 1/4 in.)
Provenance: Guy Harvey-Samuel. Fine Art Society, April 1960. A private collection.
Exhibited (possibly): London, Royal Watercolour Society in 1813, no.124.
Stourhead at Stourton, Wiltshire is among the most celebrated of eighteenth century English landscape gardens. The Palladian house was built, for the London banker Henry Hoare the elder, by Colen Campbell in 1721-4; its garden was laid out by Henry Hoare tbe younger between 1741 and 1772, assisted by Henry Flitcroft.
The above work belongs to a series of watercolour views undertaken, between 1811 and 1813, by Francis Nicholson, for Sir Richard Colt Hoare of Stourhead. To the left of the picture is the Pantheon, designed by Flitcroft in 1743. Based on the Pantheon in Rome, with its domed Rotunda and hexastyle portico, the temple was designed to provide a gallery for Hoare's collection of sculptures. Alfred's Tower on Kingsettle Hill, can be discerned in the distance; the tower was intended, by Hoare the elder, to commemorate the district's associations with the 9th century ruler Alfred, King of Wessex.