The Stotesbury Art Collection

Garden Fountains and Sculpture at Whitemarsh Hall
by
Jules-Édouard Visseaux, Frank Lynn Jenkins, Henri-Léon Gréber, and others

The Main Garden

At that time Rudier, Bouet and Visseaux were working full-time for Joe [Sir Joseph Duveen], creating the fine statues that today grace the gardens of the Huntington Museum at Pasadena, California, and the "Versailles fountains" at Whitemarsh, the Philadelphia home of the millionaire E. H. [sic] Stotesbury.

--Colin Simpson, in The Partnership, the Secret Association of Bernard Berenson and Joseph Duveen, published 1987 by the Bodley Head, London

 

Topographic Map of Whitemarsh Hall Circa 1921

Aerial view of Whitemarsh Hall circa 1925, showing the Main Garden with the large lead fountain at the end of the promenades

Photo Source: Private Collection

The Grotto Fountain

The double stairs leading down from the Upper Terrace to the Main Garden were on either side of a large stone grotto fountain by Jules-Édouard Visseaux that signalled the beginning of the long lawn, or "tapis vert."

This fountain was modeled after the depiction of Neptune and Anemone at the top of the Grande Cascade fountain at the Parc de Saint Cloud in Paris, France.

Photo Source: Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

The Grotto Fountain today

The Grotto Fountain today

Photo Source: Private Collection

On the outer edge of the tapis vert, the visitor could walk along a promenade graced by three allegorical statues on each side.

Four of these statues consisted of a set of old French 18th Century stone figures of draped females, representing "The Four Seasons," said to be from the Louis XIV Period, School of Coysevoux, from the Chateau de la Floride.

The other two statues, which resided in the middle of the outer border of each promenade, were a stone group of "The Rape of Proserpine" on the east and one of "An Angel with a Man and a Woman" on the west.

The east promenade of the Main Garden

The eastern promenade, showing two of the "Four Seasons" on either side of "The Rape of Proserpine"

Photo Source: Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

The western promenade

The western promenade, showing two of the "Four Seasons" on either side of "An Angel with a Man and a Woman"

In the foreground is a small fountain by F. Lynn Jenkins that was situated on the west side of the Large Fountain.

Photo Source: Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

The lower promenade

The other small fountain by F. Lynn Jenkins that was situated on the east side of the Large Fountain.

In the background are statues of one of "The Four Seasons" (L) and "An Angel with a Man and a Woman" (R).

Photo Source: Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

One of the Four Seasons

One of the garden statues of "The Four Seasons" in the northeast corner of the garden

Photo Source: Private Collection

The Rape of Proserpine

The statue of "The Rape of Proserpine" in the middle of the eastern promenade

Photo Source: Private Collection

The Large Fountain

The Large Fountain by Jules-Édouard Visseaux

Photo Source: Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

The Large Fountain

The Large Fountain featured lead dolphins, turtles, mermaids and mermen

Photo Source: Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

The Large Fountain

The Large Fountain had lights that could be turned on at night while music was played thorugh a sound system in the garden.

Photo Source: Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

Sculptures at the Huntington

Sculptures supposedly made at the same time by Visseaux for the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California (see quote at the top of this page); however, in a 2009 book published by the Huntington Library titled Botanical Gardens at the Huntington, these statues are described as eighteenth century Italian stone figures (pages 85 - 88).

Photo Source: Private Collection

A Whitemarsh Hall statue today

One of the few Whitemarsh Hall statues remaining on the former grounds of the estate today, possibly by Visseaux.

Could it be one of the Four Seasons?

Photo Source: Private Collection

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