The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section II. Beauties and Principles of the Art of Landscape Gardening

JC Loudon's principle of recognition in art

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The recognition of art, as Loudon justly observes, is a first principle in Landscape Gardening, as in all other arts; and those of its professors have erred, who supposed that the object of this art is merely to produce a fac-simile of nature, that could not be distinguished from a wild scene. But we contend that this principle may be fully attained with either expression-the picturesque cottage being as well a work of art as the classic villa; its baskets, and seats of rustic work, indicating the hand of man as well as the marble vase and balustrade; and a walk, sometimes narrow and crooked, is as certainly recognised as man's work, as one always regular and flowing. Foreign trees of picturesque growth are as readily obtained as those of beautiful forms. The recognition of art is, therefore, always apparent in both modes. The evidences are indeed stronger and more multiplied in the careful polish of the Beautiful landscape,* and hence many prefer this species of landscape, not, as it deserves to be preferred, because it displays the most beautiful and perfect ideas in its outlines, the forms of its trees, and all that enters into its composition, but chiefly because it also is marked by that careful polish, and that completeness, which imply the expenditure of money, which they so well know how to value. (* The beau ideal in Landscape Gardening, as a fine art, appears to us to be embraced in the creation of scenery full of expression, as the beautiful or picturesque, the materials of which are, to a certain extent, different from those in wild nature, being composed of the floral and arboricultural riches of all climates, as far as possible; uniting in the same scene, a richness and a variety never to be found in any one portion of nature;-a scene characterized as a work of art, by the variety of the materials, as foreign trees, plants, &c., and by the polish and keeping of the grounds in the natural style, as distinctly as by the uniform and symmetrical arrangement in the ancient style.)