The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section I. Historical Sketches.

Addison, Pope and the revolution in gardening taste

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The glory and merit of the total revolution which about this time took place in the public taste, belong, it is generally conceded, mainly to Addison and Pope. In 1712 appeared Addison's papers on Imagination, considered with reference to the works of Nature and Art. With a delicate and masterly hand, at a time when he possessed, through the "Spectator," the ear of all refined and tasteful England, he lifted the veil between the garden and natural charms, and showed how beautiful were their relations- how soon the imagination wearies with the stiffness of the former, and how much grace may be caught from a freer imitation of the swelling wood and hill. The next year Pope, who was both a poet and painter, opened his quiver of satire in the celebrated article on verdant sculpture in the Guardian, where he ridiculed with no sparing hand the sheared alleys, formal groves, and "Statues growing that noble place in, All heathen goddesses most rare, Homer, Plutarch, and Nebuchadnezzar, Standing naked in the open air!"