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Dumbarton Oaks Purchases Humphry Repton Drawing

Dumbarton Oaks Purchases Humphry Repton Drawing

The newly acquired drawing shows the front of Strood Manor with its property.

Dumbarton Oaks recently purchased an original drawing by Humphry Repton (1752–1818) of the front of the house and property for Strood Manor, Horsham, Sussex, ca. 1801. This is a companion piece to Repton’s illustration of the back of the house and property, already in the Dumbarton Oaks Rare Book Collection (below). Both drawings are pen-and-ink and watercolor, with yellow and gray wash borders and additional pen-and-ink outlines. They depict finished designs for improvements of Strood Manor and may have functioned as an abbreviated form of Repton’s Red Books. The drawing of the back of the house has the movable flap employed by Repton to depict the property before (below left) and, when lifted, after his suggested improvements (below right). John William Commerell purchased Strood Manor in 1801 and the drawings appear to depict an original architectural design that Repton undertook shortly after Commerell acquired the property.

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