Marianne North Gallery & Ruined Arch
Explore Kew Gardens - Virtual Tour
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Chambers scattered stone fragments at the base of his Ruined Arch and rampant vegetation soon completed the picture of romantic decay. It also served as a bridge to bring sheep and cattle to and from the royal gardens. This engraving shows Chambers' Temple of Victory beyond the Arch on a mound, now occupied by the Flagstaff.
No visitor should neglect to see the extraordinary interior of the Marianne North Gallery. James Ferguson designed it for his friend Miss North who presented it and her paintings to Kew in the early 1880s.
A woman of independent means Miss North was able to travel the world during the 1870s and 1880s painting plants in their natural surroundings. She personally supervised the hanging of over 800 of her works, arranged in geographical order.
Miss North could complete an oil painting in a day. She often composed her plants in an ecological setting, sometimes adding an insect or small animal.