The Garden Guide

Book: The Principles of Landscape Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 2: Compositional Elements of Landscape Gardening

Architectural style and landscape composition

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1535. It is a common error to consider nothing as architecture but what is Grecian; to fancy that all architecture must have what are called orders; and to consider the Gothic, Chinese, or Hindoo modes of building, as mere barbarous compositions. Nothing can be more unphilosophical than this mode of viewing the subject; and it may just as well be said that there is no true language in the world but the Greek; that every language ought to correspond with it in the tenses and moods of the verbs, and that every other mode of speech is more jargon. A style of building, and mode of oral communication, must have a sufficient claim to be considered as complete, when they answer the purposes for which they are intended; and, applying this principle to the architecture and language of different countries, we shall find that each is complete relatively to those countries. That any style of building, or any language, can be universally suitable, is to suppose that the same climate and the same degree of civilisation prevails over the whole globe. Thus, as there are different languages, and different manners and customs, so there are different styles of architecture; and though we may prefer the Grecian, as having been used by the most refined nations of antiquity, let us not hastily reject every other style as devoid of congruity, or unsuitable for being applied to constructions of use or beauty.