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December 06 , 2008

Masters of their Craft

The Art, Architecture and Garden Design of the Nesfields


In this informative and charming volume, Shirley Evans explores the lives of two of the most prominent designers of the nineteenth century; designers who have left their distinctive mark on buildings and gardens throughout the British Isles. William Andrews Nesfield and Eden Nesfield, father and son, were infatuated with the beauty and romance of the past, and both played an important role in the nineteeth-century revivals of the Jacobean, Renaissance and Gothic styles.
The Nesfields produced horticultural and architectural designs for wealthy and influential landowners, later winning important public commissions at Kew Gardens and the Prince Consort’s Kensington museum complex. Shirley Evans considers the education of both men and the evolution of their aesthetic sensibilities in detail. William Andrews Nesfield’s early life in Durham, military training and travels in Canada and Europe fed his fascination with Renaissance proportion and the pre-Revolutionary French parterre-de-broderie, a design of intricate and highly artificial bedding that was to become his signature. His son flourished in the artistic milieu in which he was raised, but his main passion was for Gothic detailing. Both were highly accomplished painters, and Nesfield Senior’s watercolours were lauded by John Ruskin.
This illustrated volume will be of great interest to enthusiasts of the remarkable work of the Nesfields in particular, or of Victorian design in general.
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