Capability Brown's 300th anniversary: Harrogate gallery's spectacular tribute

Harrogate's Mercer Gallery is marking the 300th anniversary of the birth of Capability Brown, Britain's most famous landscape garden designer, with not one but two exhibitions.

Capability Brown - Britain's greatest-ever landscape garden designer.
Capability Brown - Britain's greatest-ever landscape garden designer.

Running until September, False Perspectives features new paintings by artist Kate Whiteford OBE inspired by his designs while Noble Prospects presents paintings, drawings and manuscripts by the man himself.

This major project for this council-owned gallery includes a collaboration with the Yorkshire Gardens Trust and some funding by Arts Council England.

Val Hepworth, chair of the Yorkshire Gardens Trust, said: “This a very special year. We are very excited at the activities at Mercer Art Gallery which will encourage more people to visit Capability Brown’s gardens and enjoy his legacy.”

Born in 1716 in Northumberland, Capability Brown was the garden designer behind some of Yorkshire’s most admired landscapes to this day.

He was responsible for over 170 gardens surrounding the finest country houses and estates in Britain including Burton Constable, Harewood and Temple Newsam.

He was nicknamed “Capability” because he would tell his clients that their property had “capability” for improvement.

As well as the exhibitions, the Mercer’s programme also includes visits to Capability Brown landscapes, family art workshops, expert talks, a new film by Simon Warner and special gallery tours.