William Kent

Kent, William, 1685–1748, English landscape gardener, architect, and painter. A minor painter, Kent made ceiling decorations for Kensington Palace. He greatly influenced landscape gardening by changing the prevailing artificial style to one based more closely on nature, as in the gardens at Rousham. As an architect, he followed Neo-Palladian tenets and adhered to strictly symmetrical planning, especially in his masterpiece, Holkham Hall, Norfolk (begun 1734). In London he planned the treasury building (1734) and the Horse Guards building (erected after his death, 1750–58).

See study by M. Jourdain (1948).

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