|Published||Pub. for S. Ireland May 1 1799|
|Dimensions||Image 110 x 163 mm, Sheet 164 x 223 mm|
A view of the lake at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, from Samuel Ireland's Picturesque Views on the River Thames from its source in Gloucestershire to the Nore. Blenheim's famous lake is artificial, created following the plan of Capability Brown by damming the River Glyme which ran through the Palace's grounds. In extending the lake, Brown submerged the lower levels of Vanbrugh's grandiose bridge, but created the epitome of the English landscape garden. In Ireland's view, two groups of visitors walk along the banks of the lake, with the Palace itself in the distance.
Samuel Ireland (21st May 1744 - July 1800) was a British engraver, author, and collector of art and rare books, who specialised in series of 'Picturesque Views' with a particular focus on British rivers and waterways. In addition to his work as a topographical artist, he also etched a number of plates after Hogarth, Mortimer, and John Hamilton. His professional reputation was left in shambles following his unfortunate championing of a widely publicised hoax. A great admirer of Shakespeare, Ireland enthusiastically announced the discovery of a cache of Shakespeare manuscripts, which, after professional scrutiny, were proved to be forgeries created by his own son, William Ireland.