The Architect King: George III and the Culture of the Enlightenment

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Royal Collection, 2004 - Architecture - 224 pages
Three months after George III's accession, Horace Walpole observed, 'Building, I am told, is the King's favourite study'. Although George III's interest in agriculture, science and the arts is well documented, it was architectural design that engaged him most deeply. Certainly the King was both passionate and knowledgeable about architecture and it is clear from his drawings that he was himself a competent architect. Drawing on the rich holdings of the Royal Library, David Watkin presents a full account of George III's relationship with his tutor, William Chambers, and with the other leading architects of his day, including Robert Adam, James 'Athenian' Stuart and James Wyatt. Widening the focus, Professor Watkin then places the King's patronage of architects and garden designers in the context of ancien régime Europe and the Enlightenment, and he explores in some detail George III's dual role as King of England and Elector of Hanover. This ground-breaking study is published to coincide with the major exhibition, George III and Queen Charlotte: Patronage, Collecting and Court Taste at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace (26 March 2004 - 9 January 2005). The exhibition includes a number of the King's own architectural designs, as well as those of Sir William Chambers and James Wyatt.

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A Royal Topography
The Architectural Patronage of the Royal Family

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About the author (2004)

David Watkin is Professor of the History of Architecture at the University of Cambridge.

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