1863 – 1922
Flower Gardens at Generalife, Granada

Watercolour on paper, signed bottom left
Image size: 13 3/4 x 9 1/2 inches (35 x 24 cm)
Mounted and framed
£5,000

 

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The Generalife was a summer palace and country estate of the Nasrid rulers of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus. It is located directly east of, and uphill from, the Alhambra palace complex in Granada, Spain.

The Generalife gardens occupy three large terraces on the hillside, each measuring about 35 metres (115 ft) wide by 250 metres (820 ft) long. The two lower terraces, on the southwest side, are occupied by market gardens and orchards. Known today as Las Huertas, these gardens have served this purpose since the 14th century. The highest terrace is occupied by the Jardines Nuevos (“New Gardens”), a series of 20th-century gardens that form the main approach to the historic palaces today.

The southern part of this garden area was designed by Francisco Prieto Moreno and finished in 1951. It includes walls formed by trimmed cypress trees and a large cruciform pool inspired by Islamic/Moorish gardens, along with other decorative plants. An open-air theatre was also added here in 1952. The northern part of the gardens, which features a rose bush labyrinth, was designed by Leopoldo Torres Balbás in 1931

 

Ernest Arthur Rowe

Rowe was a watercolourist specialising in garden scenes. He spent his career responding to the Victorian love of formal gardens with his meticulous paintings of the grounds of the country’s finest historic houses. Ernest Arthur Rowe was born in West Ham, which was then in Essex. He trained first as a lithographer and, in 1884, began studying at the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours where he won a President’s Medal in 1885.

Initially, Rowe painted landscapes in general, but by the 1890s he was specialising in gardens. During that decade, he joined the London Sketch Club where he met Arthur Rackham and Beatrice Parsons, among others. Rowe’s early career was marked with little financial success. However, in 1895, he embarked on a sketching tour of the south coast and, upon meeting Mrs Hamlyn, the owner of Clovelly Court in Devon, became engaged in a series of country house commissions.