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Article

Arkadia  

Anna Bentkowska

Park near Łowicz, Poland. The best-preserved 18th-century Romantic landscape park in Poland, it was founded in 1778 by the patron and collector Princess Helena Radziwiłł (1749–1821). She competed as a patron with Princess Izabela Czartoryska, and Arkadia was a response to the latter’s park (destr.), also called Arkadia, at Powązki, outside Warsaw. Princess Helena Radziwiłł conceived the literary and philosophical idea of the park, and in order to realize her project she employed Simon Bogumił Zug as designer.

The park covers c. 30 ha on the banks of an artificially formed lake, with the Isle of Sacrifices and the River Łupia. An area of wild, unimproved nature, the Elysian Fields, is laid out on the west bank. An English-style park, complete with pavilions, classical ruins, tombs, altars and grottoes, is situated on the east bank. The park is so designed and landscaped that the footpaths, lined with trees and shrubs, lead the visitor to its main feature, the Neo-classical Temple of Diana, from where there is a panoramic view of the lake and the park. The temple, designed by ...

Article

Arthur Channing Downs

(b Newburgh, NY, Oct 31, 1815; d Hudson River, NY, July 28, 1852).

American writer, horticulturist, landscape gardener and architect. From the age of seven he was trained in the family nursery garden by his elder brother Charles Downing (1802–85), an experimental horticulturist. Before he was 15, Downing came under the influence of André Parmentier (1780–1830), a Dutch-trained landscape gardener, and he studied the 700-acre estate that Parmentier had landscaped in the English manner at Hyde Park, NY. Downing was also influenced by the mineralogist Baron Alois von Lederer (1773–1842) and the landscape painter Raphael Hoyle (1804–38). In 1834 Downing’s first article, ‘Ornamental Trees’, appeared in journals in Boston, MA, and France. His article ‘The Fitness of Different Styles of Architecture for Country Residences’ (1836) was the first important discussion of the topic in America. He expressed enthusiasm for a variety of styles and insisted they must be used in appropriate settings. His ...

Article

Susan B. Taylor

French landscape garden near Senlis, at the edge of the forest of Chantilly, Oise. Laid out by its owner, Louis-René Marquis de Girardin, between 1766 and 1776, it became one of the most influential examples of the Picturesque garden in 18th-century France. In contrast to the flat terrain of many French parks, Ermenonville (approx. 850 ha) was varied and had an abundant water supply. Girardin made a large lake to the south of his modernized château; this flowed into two cascades, becoming a meandering stream north of the château. The lake and stream together defined the central north–south axis. The park itself he divided into four areas, in order to maintain the distinctly varied character of Ermenonville’s topography: the farm, east of the château, was essentially a ferme ornée, whereas the Désert, to the west, was a rocky landscape of sandhills, pine trees and boulders. The fine views to the north and south of the château, improved by the lake and stream, encouraged Girardin to exploit his domain—recomposing the landscape so as to resemble the scenery to be found in the works of celebrated landscape painters. Consequently, southerly views from the château—an area that included an ‘Arcadian’ field framed by the woods surrounding the lake, cascade and grotto—suggested paintings by Claude Lorrain; those to the north, a flat, marshy area containing a rustic mill, canal and windmill, evoked in the spectator’s imagination ‘northern, meditative’ landscapes. This latter area also included the Tower of Gabrielle (destr.), a Gothick tower dedicated to the mistress of Henry IV. Elsewhere, the views recalled the types of scenery associated with paintings by Hubert Robert, Salvator Rosa and Jacob van Ruisdael....

Article

Hans-Christoph Dittscheid

(b Kassel, Dec 9, 1754; d Kassel, July 26, 1825).

German architect. He studied architecture from 1778 at the Collegium Carolinum in Kassel under Simon Louis Du Ry. His earliest surviving designs show a close allegiance to the architecture of the Prussian court in Berlin and Potsdam. At about this time he taught architecture under Du Ry. In 1783 Jussow received a bursary from Landgrave Frederick II of Hesse-Kassel (reg 1760–85), which enabled him to stay in Paris until 1785. There he was a pupil of Charles de Wailly, who had produced various designs for a new residential palace and a pleasure palace, both at Weissenstein (later Wilhelmshöhe), for the Kassel court. In de Wailly’s studio Jussow drew up his first scheme for Schloss Wilhelmshöhe, which exhibits the direct influence of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, who was also working on projects for Landgrave Frederick at the time. Jussow also spent a year in Italy (1785–6) and was one of the first German architects to study and draw the ancient temples at Paestum. Landgrave ...

Article

James Stevens Curl

(b Cambuslang, Lanark [now Strathclyde], April 8, 1783; d London, December 14, 1843).

Scottish garden designer and writer. The son of a farmer, he was first apprenticed to a nurseryman and landscape gardener, moving to London in 1803 to set himself up as a garden designer. That year he published his ‘Hints…[on] Laying Out the Grounds of the Public Squares in London’ in the Literary Journal (ii/12, 31 Dec 1803, cols 739–42), advocating a judicious mixture of deciduous and evergreen plants. He also carried out work for the Duchess of Brunswick at Brunswick House, Blackheath, London, and the following year spent some time in his native Scotland, improving the estates of several aristocratic clients. The same year he exhibited three drawings at the Royal Academy and published his first book, Observations on…Ornamental Plantations. In it he emphasized his adherence to Picturesque principles and those of Uvedale Price in particular. From this time on, and in addition to several forays into architectural design, Loudon’s career as a garden designer was inseparable from his vast publishing enterprises, by which he disseminated his advice and ideas....

Article

Susan B. Taylor

French Picturesque garden near Etampes, Essonne. The garden was laid out for Jean-Joseph de Laborde (1724–94) between 1784 and 1794, initially by François-Joseph Bélanger but from 1786 by the landscape painter Hubert Robert. Laborde, an immensely wealthy financier and banker to the courts of Louis XV and Louis XVI, acquired Méréville in 1784. At that time its garden consisted of regularized parterres, and he spent almost 10,000 livres, an enormous sum even at that time, on transforming it into a fashionable jardin anglais. The varied terrain of the site was enhanced by the diversion of its small river, La Juine, from its natural course to traverse the park in a serpentine manner until it reached a manmade lake. Four bridges, including one deliberately built so as to appear ruinous, were carefully placed to create the best views and further emphasize the picturesque effects of the river. In addition to the standard vocabulary of ...

Article

(b Muskau, Oct 30, 1785; d Branitz, Feb 4, 1871).

German landscape designer and writer. He came from a Silesian noble family and carried the personal title of prince (Ger. Fürst). In 1822 he was compensated for loss of rights when his lands were transferred to Prussia. After receiving a Pietist education, studying law at Leipzig and taking part in the Wars of Liberation, he devoted himself to the estate at Muskau (on what is now the German–Polish border), which he had inherited in 1811, turning it (between trips to England, France, the Far East and Africa) into an enormous landscaped park. This work consumed his wealth, and when a rich marriage—for which he had divorced his first wife—failed to materialize, he sold Muskau in 1845 and laid out a new, smaller landscape garden at his family seat at Branitz, near Cottbus. In 1817 he turned down an important position in the management of the Prussian royal gardens, but through his position at the Berlin court he influenced the parks of the royal princes, Charles (...

Article

Susan B. Taylor

French château near Paris, best known for its gardens, laid out between 1700 and 1789. The château was built and maintained by the d’Angennes family from the 14th to the 17th centuries. Catherine de Vivonne, Marquise de Rambouillet (1588–1665), was responsible for beginning the canal and water networks that were to influence later developments at Rambouillet. The definitive layout of the gardens was made under the financier and courtier Joseph-Jean Baptiste Fleuriau d’Armenonville (1661–1728). To accommodate the site surrounding the château, essentially a flat, swampy terrain, d’Armenonville constructed a canal of 740 m that permitted him to establish parterres close to the château: a geometrical quincunx was laid out to the west, and an avenue of cypress trees from Louisiana (unique in Europe) was planted to the east. A second, transverse, canal created a view towards the forest and the horizon. In the trapezoid formed by these canals were two islands, one of which housed a grotto dedicated to François Rabelais. A ...

Article

German, 19th century, female.

Born 20 January 1794, in Stuttgart; died 15 August 1846, in Stuttgart.

Landscape artist.

A pupil of G.F. Steinkopf, Emilie Reinbeck married the poet, Georg Reinbeck, in 1817. She was a friend of the German Romantic poet, Nikolaus Lenau (1802-1850...

Article

Danish, 19th century, female.

Born 17 October 1809, in Sparresholm; died 6 November 1855, in Lille Mariendal, near Hellerup.

Landscape artist.

Henriette Marie Sødring was the wife of Frederik Hansen Sødring. Her romantic landscapes are currently in Sparresholm castle.