The Picturesque Garden in EuropeBook - 2002
The book traces the rise of the picturesque garden in England, exploring intricate dialogues between practical place-making and the theoretical formulations of the picturesque that began with Alexander Pope and Joseph Addison and ended with the writings of William Gilpin, Uvedale Price, and Richard Payne Knight in the 1790s. It surveys a wide range of sites -- Rousham, Stourhead, Kew, Hestercombe, The Leasowes, and Hafod, among others -- and the contributions to their creation by both amateurs and professionals.
Europeans visited and wrote about many of these famous English landscapes. But the impact on European countries of the English example was complicated by the parallel rise of a picturesque garden in France, which had its own cultural direction even while it looked to England and China for inspiration. The French produced a crop of theoretical essays on the new "modern" garden as well as a set of astonishing designs -- Mereville, Desert de Retz, Monceau, Moulin-Joli, Ermenonville -- that were wholly and distinctly French, despite some superficial similarities with English creations.
Finally, the book surveys the impact of English and French design upon other countries, in particular Sweden, the German-speaking lands, and Russia. The range of effect that could be created onEuropean sites is considerable and belies the notion that the picturesque was simply a process of making 3-D pictures in the landscape.