English landscape garden  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The English landscape garden, also called English landscape park or simply the English garden is a style of landscape garden which emerged in England in the early 18th century, and spread across Europe, replacing the more formal, symmetrical jardin à la française of the 17th century as the principal gardening style of Europe. The English garden presented an idealized view of nature. They were often inspired by paintings of landscapes by Claude Lorraine and Nicolas Poussin, and some were Influenced by the classic Chinese gardens of the East, which had recently been described by European travelers. The English garden usually included a lake, sweeps of gently rolling lawns set against groves of trees, and recreations of classical temples, Gothic ruins, bridges, and other picturesque architecture, designed to recreate an idyllic pastoral landscape. The work of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown was particularly influential. By the end of the 18th century the English garden was being imitated by the French landscape garden, and as far away as St. Petersburg, Russia, in Pavlovsk, the gardens of the future Emperor Paul. It also had a major influence on the form of the public parks and gardens which appeared around the world in the 19th century.

The English Garden Spreads to the Continent

Descriptions of English gardens were first brought to France by the Abbé Le Blanc, who published accounts of his voyage in 1745 and 1751. A treatise on the English garden, Observations on Modern Gardening, written by Thomas Whately and published in London in 1770, was translated into French in 1771. After the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763, French noblemen were able to voyage to England and see the gardens for themselves, and the style began to be adapted in French gardens. The new style also had the advantage of requiring fewer gardeners, and was easier to maintain, than the French garden.

One of the first English gardens on the continent was at Ermenonville, in France, built by marquis René Louis de Girardin from 1763 to 1776 and based on the ideals of Jean Jacques Rousseau, who was buried within the park. Rousseau and the garden's founder had visited Stowe a few years earlier. Other early examples were the Désert de Retz, Yvelines (1774–1782); the Gardens of the Château de Bagatelle, in the Bois de Boulogne, west of Paris (1777–1784); The Folie Saint James, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, (1777–1780); and the Château de Méréville, in the Essonne department, (1784–1786). Even at Versailles, the home of the most classical of all French gardens, a small English landscape park with a roman temple was built by the Petit Trianon and a mock village, the Hameau de la reine, Versailles (1783–1789), was created for Marie Antoinette. (See the French landscape garden).

The new style also spread to Germany. The central Wörlitzer Park, adjacent to the small town of Wörlitz, was laid out between 1769 and 1773 by Duke Leopold III, based on the models of Claremont, Stourhead and Stowe Landscape Garden. Another notable example was The Englischer Garten in Munich, Germany, created in 1789 by Sir Benjamin Thompson (1753–1814).

In Holland the landscape-architect Lucas Pieters Roodbaard (1782-1851) designed several gardens and parks in this style.Template:Citation needed

The style also spread rapidly to Russia, where in 1774 Catherine the Great adapted the new style in the park of her palace at Tsarskoe Selo, complete with a mock Chinese village and a Palladian bridge, modelled after that at Wilton House.

Characteristics of the English Garden

300px|thumb|1803 painting of English garden's elements The Continental European "English garden" is characteristically on a smaller scale and more filled with "eye-catchers" than most English landscape gardens: grottoes, temples, tea-houses, belvederes, pavilions, sham ruins, bridges and statues, though the main ingredients of the landscape gardens in England are sweeps of gently rolling ground and water, against a woodland background with clumps of trees and outlier groves. The name— not used in the United Kingdom, where "landscape garden" serves— differentiates it from the formal baroque design of the Garden à la française. One of the best-known English gardens in Europe is the Englischer Garten in Munich.

The dominant style was revised in the early 19th century to include more "gardenesque" features, including shrubberies with gravelled walks, tree plantations to satisfy botanical curiosity, and, most notably, the return of flowers, in skirts of sweeping planted beds. This is the version of the landscape garden most imitated in Europe in the 19th century. The outer areas of the "home park" of English country houses retain their naturalistic shaping. English gardening since the 1840s has been on a more restricted scale, closer and more allied to the residence.

The canonical European English park contains a number of Romantic elements. Always present is a pond or small lake with a pier or bridge. Overlooking the pond is a round or hexagonal pavilion, often in the shape of a monopteros, a Roman temple. Sometimes the park also has a "Chinese" pavilion. Other elements include a grotto and imitation ruins.

Notable designers of the English prototypes of the Englischer Garten include John Vanbrugh (1664–1726). Stephen Switzer (1682–1745), the poet Alexander Pope (1688–1744), Charles Bridgeman (1690–1738), William Kent (1685–1748).

A second style of English garden, which became popular during the 20th century in France and northern Europe, is the late 19th-century English cottage garden.


See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "English landscape garden" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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