Repton, Humphry, 1752-1818 / Fragments on the theory and practice of landscape gardening: including some remarks on Grecian and Gothic architecture, collected from various manuscripts, in the possession of the different noblemen and gentlemen, for whose use they were originally written; the whole tending to establish fixed principles in the respective arts
Fragment XXVI. Extract from a recent report of a place near the capital, pp. -136
130 deration, whether the original, or the more recent style, be advisable; and how far both may be admitted, without the in- congruous mixture of two things so opposite, that they cannot be blended in one rational plan. I shall call the Ancient Style of Gardens that of Versailles, as introduced into this country by Le Ntre, in the beginning of the last century; and the Modern Style, that called English, as invented by Brown, and practised in England during the latter half of the last century. THE ANCIENT STYLE. This consisted in straight lines and geometric figures, and had more reference to Art than to Nature. It was distinguished by Avenues, or even single straight rows of trees, extended to a great distance, and far beyond the actual limits of the place. The surface of the ground was cut into slopes, called Amphi- theatres, or raised up in conic shapes called Mounts; and even the water was obliged to assume some geometrical outline. So 'far from consulting or following Nature, the chief object of Art was to display its triumph over Nature. All this had its admir- ers, and became at length so much the fashion, that every garden in the kingdom (whether great or small) was condemned to sub- mit to the same strict rules, till they were brought into ridicule by the admirers of more natural landscape; as by the satirical allusions of Pope, in this couplet so often quoted: "Grove nods at Grove, each Alley has a brother, "And half the platform just reflects the other."
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