The Garden Guide

Book: Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening, 1795
Chapter: Chapter 7: Concerning approaches, with some remarks on the affinity betwixt painting and gardening

Holme Park, Berkshire

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HOLME PARK. A great difference betwixt a scene in nature, and a picture on canvas, will arise from the following considerations:- First. The spot from whence the view is taken, is in a fixed state to the painter; but the gardener surveys his scenery while in motion; and, from different windows in the same front, he sees objects in different situations; therefore, to give an accurate portrait of the gardener's improvement, would require pictures from each separate window, and even a different drawing at the most trifling change of situation, either in the approach, the walks, or the drives, about each place. Secondly. The quantity of view, or field of vision, is much greater than any picture will admit. Thirdly. The view from an eminence down a steep hill is not to be represented in painting, although it is often one of the most pleasing circumstances of natural landscape. Fourthly. The light which the painter may bring from any point of the compass, must, in real scenery, depend on the time of day. It must also be remembered, that the light of a picture can only be made strong by contrast of shade; while in nature, every object may be strongly illumined, without destroying the composition, or disturbing the keeping. And, Lastly. The foreground, which, by framing the view, is absolutely necessary to the picture, is often totally deficient, or seldom such as a painter chooses to represent; since the neat gravel walk, or close mown lawn, would ill supply the place, in painting, of a rotten tree, a bunch of docks, or a broken road, passing under a steep bank, covered with briers, nettles, and ragged thorns. [Holme Park, Sonning Berkshire, belonged to Richard Palmer, and became Reading Blue Coat School in 1947. TT]