About our Company

My photo
Landenberg, Pennsylvania, United States
Based in Landenberg, PA PLG offers Landscape Installation and Maintenance to Southern Chester County and Northern Delaware

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Capability Brown and The Picturesque

            While England has had a rich tradition of landscape design, their style really started to separate itself in the 18th century.   Before the 1700s the English tended to copy the more formal gardens of the Italian and French.  The 18th century brought increased wealth to England through both foreign and domestic trade.  This wealth allowed the noble and upper middle class of England to transform the countryside.  The person that carried out this picturesque transformation was Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716-1783).  The nickname ‘Capability’ came from his assurance that his client’s property had the “capability” to become beautiful.  His designs were influenced by the paintings of the picturesque movement.  Between 1751-1783 he designed more than 200 landscapes.  He once turned down a commission in Ireland because he, “Hadn’t finished England yet.”  Capability viewed his work as correcting nature, bringing it to a new, more perfect level.  Brown developed the quintessential English landscape, creating topography that is never flat nor sloping in one direction but expressing a series of concave and convex curves.  He never planted trees in a straight line but in clumps, belts, and screens to direct attention to distant views.  He incorporated the element of surprise in the garden by not using straight lines, drawing your eyes, though your body does not travel the same path.  The placement of the house was very important in his landscape designs.  Capability allowed no ornamental planting to mediate between the home and the surrounding landscape causing the house to stick out in the landscape.  He designed the landscape to control views from the house by using trees and landscape elements. 

No comments:

Post a Comment