The Development of the ‘Picturesque’ in English Landscape Gardening – Designers & the Country House

In gardening, the early landscape garden was a phenomenon of the English country house which depended on classical literature and imagery for its poetic and pictorial approach. Garden designers in Britain looking to underline what Pope termed the true “genius of the place”[1] by turning to the ‘idyllic images of the Roman campagna’[2] as evoked … Continue reading The Development of the ‘Picturesque’ in English Landscape Gardening – Designers & the Country House

Notes on The Architect in Georgian Britain

The remit of the architect in the 18th century became all-encompassing. It was in this period that the role flourished in such a way that had been unrealised in preceding centuries. Indeed, considering the great names in architecture of the era, one would associate a fame: These men were not merely builders, but gentlemen of … Continue reading Notes on The Architect in Georgian Britain

The Victorian Country House: Morality, Domesticity & Organisation

Running a household in Victorian England had become a science – with tasks to be delegated and a system of categorised activity for those at every level of society. When Girouard writes of the eminent concern for ‘morality, domesticity, organisation and hospitality’[1] in the country house the emphasis is on the rigid upholding of standards … Continue reading The Victorian Country House: Morality, Domesticity & Organisation

The Elizabethan Country House And The Cult Of Sovereignty

From 1570 – 1620 one can chart the ‘Elizabethan building boom’[1]. Here, we see an unprecedented rise in the building of ‘proud, ambitious heaps’[2] and the beginnings of the ‘architect’ as an entity in the cultural, economic and social landscape. Architectural historian Sir John Summerson credits ‘the most daring of all English buildings’[3] as the … Continue reading The Elizabethan Country House And The Cult Of Sovereignty

The Development of the ‘Picturesque’ in Landscape Gardening – Introduction

The ‘Picturesque’ figures predominantly in 18th century British landscape debate. In terms of gardening and design theory, the ‘Picturesque’ evolves from the transition in the formal gardens of earlier Renaissance and Baroque landscapes[1] to greater informality and natural characteristics, evidenced in the British countryside and merited for its own distinctively rugged beauty. Christopher Hussey defined … Continue reading The Development of the ‘Picturesque’ in Landscape Gardening – Introduction