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

Stoke Bogies, Buckinghamshire

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STOKE POGIES.] Real landscape, or that which my art professes to improve, is not always capable of being represented on paper or canvas: for although the rules for good natural landscape may be found in the best painters' works, in which "we ne'er shall find Dull uniformity, contrivance quaint, Or labour'd littleness; but contrasts broad, And careless lines, whose undulating forms Play through the varied canvas;" MASON. yet Monsieur Grerardin* is greatly mistaken, when he directs, that no scene in nature should be attempted till it has first been painted: and I apprehend the cause of his mistake to be this.* -In an artificial landscape, the foreground is the most important object; indeed some of the most beautiful pictures of Claude de Lorraine, consist of a dark foreground, with a very small opening to distant country. But this ought not to be copied in the principal view from the windows of a large house, because it can only have its effect from one window out of many; and, consequently, the others must all be sacrificed to this sole object. In a picture, the eye is confined within certain limits, and unity is preserved by artificial means, incapable of being applied to real landscape, in all the extent which Mons. Gerardin recommends. *[Gerardin Visconte d'Ermenonville sur le Paysage. A work containing many just observations; but often mixed with whimsical conceits, and impracticable theories of gardening. [The work alluded to is translated under the title of "An Essay on Landscape; or, on the means of Improving and Embellishing the Country round our Habitations." Translated from the French of R. L. Gerardin Visconte d'Ermenonville. London, 1783. 12mo.] [Stoke Park, near Stoke Pogies, belonged to John Penn, Esq. The house was built in 1789, from the designs of James Wyatt, Esq.; and the grounds laid out by H. Repton]