The Garden Guide

Book: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening, adapted to North America,1841
Chapter: Section III. On Wood.

Coloring and aerial persepctive in painting and planting

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There is another circumstance connected with the color of trees, that will doubtless suggest itself to the improver of taste, the knowledge of which may sometimes be turned to valuable account. We mean the effects produced in the apparent coloring of a landscape by distance, which painters term aerial perspective. Standing at a certain position in a scene, the coloring is deep, rich, and full in the foreground, more tender and mellow in the middle-ground, and softening to a pale tint in the distance. "Where to the eye three well marked distances Spread their peculiar coloring, vivid green, Warm brown, and black opake the foreground bears Conspicuous: sober olive coldly marks The second distance; thence the third declines In softer blue, or lessening still, is lost In fainted purple. When thy taste is call'd To deck a scene where nature's self presents All these distinct gradations, then rejoice As does the Painter, and like him apply Thy colors; plant thou on each separate part Its proper foliage."