The Landscape Guide

14.4 Genius Loci in English Design Theory

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Alexander Pope, admiring nature, reason and classical civilization, based a design theory on the Genius of the Place. He expressed it in verse:

To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
To rear the Column, or the Arch to bend,
To swell the Terras, or to sink the Grot;
In all, let Nature never be forgot.
Consult the Genius of the Place in all
That tells the waters or to rise, or fall....
Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades
Now Breaks, or now directs, th'intending Lines;
Paints as you plant, and as you work, Designs.