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Talman, William

Talman, William (1650–1719). English gentle-man-architect. He rose to eminence during the Restoration period and became Comptroller of the Works to King William III (1689–1702) in 1689. He designed several large Baroque country-houses in which both French and Italian influences were apparent, favouring Giant Orders of pilasters and entablatures to frame his elevations. Chatsworth House, Derbys., where Talman rebuilt (1687–96) the south and east fronts for William Cavendish, 4th Earl (later (1694) 1st Duke) of Devonshire (1640–1707), heralded a majestic series of houses, including the Baroque redecoration of the interior of Burghley House, near Stamford, Lincs. (c.1688–90), Uppark, Sussex (c.1690—re-stored 1990–3), the east front of Dyrham Park, GloS. (1698–1704), the interiors of the State Apartments and layout of gardens at Hampton Court Palace, Mddx. (1699–1702—where he attempted to undermine Wren's position), and the south front of Drayton House, Northants. (1702). In the last, he almost achieved greatness with an exquisitely articulated building. He probably contributed more than has been credited to the design of Easton Neston, Northants. (c.1695–1702—usually attributed wholly to Hawksmoor). In 1702 Talman was dismissed from his official posts and fell out of favour with the rise of Vanbrugh and Hawksmoor.


Country Life, cxcix/34 (25 Aug. 2005), 52–5;
Colvin (1995);
J. Harris (1982);
Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, xviii (1955), 123–39;
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);
Jane Turner (1996)

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