Mrs L of Harrogate has asked me to remind her about the portrait of Capability Brown said to have been painted by Gainsborough.
Brown was hardly the handsome hero, yet why should there not have been such a portrait? He was painted by Richard Cosway and Nathaniel Dance, and drawn as well, and he did pay Thomas Gainsborough £32.00.00 in 1782.
Bob E from Erith has raised a similar question about busts of Brown. Given the emblematic nature of a statue and Brown’s increasing reluctance to incorporate emblematic design into his work, the lack of any statuary or bust is less surprising. I hear that several sculptors want to give it a go, Jon Edgar in the south, and Laury Dizengremel (http://www.laurydizengremel.com/Lancelot_Capability_Brown_sculpture.html) in the midlands among them.
I think something could be done. The Hammersmith Society is keen, and a somewhat larger than lifesize terracotta on the Mall there might work, or how about an enormous bronze erupting from the soil at Kirkharle or lying at ease across the new cascade there, with Brown spouting rivers from his mouth.
For myself, a modest bas-relief of Brown with Petworth behind him would be quite adequate. There’s plenty of room for one of those in Westminster Abbey.