The English vision: The picturesque in architecture, landscape, and garden design (Icon editions)

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9780064388757: The English vision: The picturesque in architecture, landscape, and garden design (Icon editions)

As early as 1709, Vanbrugh wrote of his ambition to preserve some ruins at Blenheim so as to recall 'One of the Most Agreeable Objects that the best of Landskip Painters can invent.' This pictorial attitude to art and nature soon gathered force, and until about 1830 English poets, painters, travelers, gardeners, architects, connoisseurs and dilettanti were broadly united by the emphasis they placed on picturesque vision. The principal qualities of the Picturesque - variety, movement, irregularity, intricacy, roughness and sense of place - became deeply embedded in the English sensibility, providing the distinctive characteristics of English vision for the last two centuries. They found their most celebrated and enduring form in architecture, landscape and garden design. The English Vision is the first major study of the Picturesque since Christopher Hussey's book on the subject was published in1927. By treating the Picturesque as a way of looking as well as a movement, David Watkin is able to emphasize how deeply it coloured the practice of architecture throughout the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras. The book contains chapters on the early landscape gardens, such as those at Chiswick House, Stowe and Rousham; on the Rococo and Chinoiserie phase of gardening; on the fashion for ruins and follies; on the theory and practice of garden design from Capability Brown to Payne Knight; on the influence of the Picturesque in Europe; and on the history of village design and town-planning, culminating in the garden city. At the heart of the book lies a long section on the Picturesque House, composed of two chapters: Vanbrugh to Soane, and Salvin to Lutyens (by way of Devey, Norman Shaw and the Arts and Crafts Movement). It contains more than 150 B&W illustrations.

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