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

Price and Knight criticism of Repton and Brown

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IT was not my original intention to have treated of Approaches in this volume, as it is a subject that requires to be elucidated by many plates; but the publication of a didactic poem *[The Landscape, a Poem, by R. P. Knight, Esq.; addressed to Uvedale Price, Esq.], where much is said on that subject, under the sanction and authority of two gentlemen of acknowledged taste, obliges me to defend not only my own principles, and the reputation of my late predecessor, Mr. Brown, but also the art itself, from attacks, which are the more dangerous, from the manner in which they are conveyed; and because they are accompanied by some doctrines, to which every person of true taste must give his assent. Yet, while I pay this tribute due to the merit of a work containing many things worthy of admiration, and while I acknowledge my personal obligation for being the only individual, in my profession, to whom any degree of merit is allowed by the author of it, I feel it a kind of duty to watch, with a jealous eye, every innovation on the principles of taste in Landscape Gardening; since I have been honoured with the care of so many of the finest places in the kingdom. The road by which a stranger is supposed to pass through the park or lawn to the house, is called an approach; and there seems the same relation betwixt the approach and the house externally, that there is internally betwixt the hall or entrance, and the several apartments to which it leads. If the hall be too large or too small, too mean or too much ornamented for the style of the house, there is a manifest incongruity in the architecture, by which good taste will be offended; but if the hall be so situated as not to connect well with the several apartments to which it ought to lead, it will then be defective in point of convenience. So it is with respect to an approach:-it ought to be convenient, interesting, and in strict harmony with the character and situation of the mansion to which it belongs.