Online Exhibits@Yale

Humphry Repton

Portrait of Humphry Repton

Repton was highly educated, a talented draughtsman, had traveled abroad, and had acquired a great knowledge of historical architecture. After attempts at various careers, a middle-aged Repton eagerly set out to become Brown’s successor as the preeminent landscape gardener.

Repton focused heavily on the setting of the landscape in respect to the house, and would approach clients by producing a set of sketches; the first sketch laid out the landscape in its current state, while the second sketch visually portrayed the “improved” landscape with architectural alterations if required. These simplistic yet visually engaging sketches later became known as Repton’s “Red Books,” which utilized movable flaps to show “before” and “after” scenes of improvement. 

Repton also wrote frequently on his theories of landscape gardening and published many works. His most notable contributions for landscape gardening are his revived use of parterres and flowers close to the house while maintaining Brown’s vast sweeps within the larger landscape beyond.

Humphry Repton