Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Let Nature Never Be Forgot

To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
To rear the column, or the arch to bend,
To swell the terrace, or to sink the grot;
In all, let Nature never be forgot.
But treat the goddess like a modest fair,
Nor overdress, nor leave her wholly bare;
Let not each beauty ev'rywhere be spied,
Where half the skill is decently to hide.
He gains all points, who pleasingly confounds,
Surprises, varies, and conceals the bounds.

Alexander Pope, Epistle IV  To Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington, 1731.

Here above there is one of the most important statements about landscape gardens. In few words Pope describes how a modern (for his times) garden should be designed, with great respect for nature and proportionality using man made elements. 
Both the poet and the Earl of Burlington were two of the leading actors in garden design in the 18th Century, the former with his writings and his small and meaningful garden in Twickenham, the latter, friend and mentor of William Kent, with his contributions in the propagation of Italian landscape as a model for the English garden. 

With these words I wish to begin my small contribution to the study of landscape garden.

There will be plenty of chances to write something more about Alexander Pope and Richard Boyle in the next posts.

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