View in a Park
Purchased as the gift of the Fellows
In the eighteenth century, wealthy landowners commissioned artists to record the appearance of their estates, which were often a tribute to their personal taste. The exact location of Sandby's watercolor view is unidentified, but it is representative of the topography of the parks in which Austen's novels take place, such as Donwell Abbey in Emma, with its "abundance of timber in rows and avenues, which neither fashion nor extravagance had rooted up." Austen's brother Henry remembered, in his "Biographical Notice" (1818), published with the first editions of Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, that his sister was "a warm and judicious admirer of landscape, both in nature and on canvas."