5 June 2006
Beatrice Parsons (1869-1955)
August Flowers, The Pleasaunce, Overstrand, Norfolk
signed 'Beatrice Parsons' (lower right)
pencil and watercolour
14 x 18¼ in. (35.5 x 46.3 cm.)
with Christopher Wood, London.
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C. Wood and P. Hobhouse, Painted Gardens, English Watercolours 1850-1914, London, 1988, pp. 186-7, pl. 110.
London, Tate Britain, Art of the Garden, 3 June - 30 August 2004, no. 86, lent by Christopher Wood.
Overstrand was known as the 'village of millionaires' in the early part of the 20th Century. Lord and Lady Battersea moved to Overstrand in 1888 and Sir Edwin Lutyens was brought in to make the house more comfortable. The house was renamed 'The Pleasaunce'.
The garden was romantically described in Ellen Thorney-Croft Fowler's novel Ten Degrees Backward, 1908, as the 'Garden of Dreams'. Set on the edge of a cliff the garden is characterised by its long lawns and a huge variety of flowers and shrubs such as we see in this present watercolour. The vista is elongated by the clever use of large stones, placed periodically along the path. Pouring over these are a colourful and varied combination of dahlias, Michaelmas daisies and gladiolii in the late summer sun.
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