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Stowe  

G. B. Clarke

[Stow]

English country house and garden, 4 km north-west of Buckingham, Bucks. Built c. 1680 for Sir Richard Temple (1634–97), both the house and garden were radically altered during the 18th century. The formal garden of Temple’s house, which had three descending compartments, was representative of the period, except that at the lowest level its unknown designer was forced to incorporate the garden of an earlier house that had been laid out on a different axis. Thus, from the outset, Stowe’s garden contained an element of asymmetry.

The chief creator of Stowe’s fame was Temple’s son Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham. From c. 1718, following a successful military career, he began to develop house and garden on a princely scale, engaging Sir John Vanbrugh as his architect and Charles Bridgeman as his garden designer. Bridgeman extended the existing garden into a geometric layout of over 50 acres in the French manner, with straight avenues, formal canals and a great parterre. Since the approach road to the house ran along the east side, he was unable to expand in that direction, and this led him—encouraged, no doubt, by Vanbrugh—to exploit the irregularity that had been imposed on the 17th-century designer, adopting it as a main feature and developing the layout lopsidedly to the west. Bridgeman’s other novel features were the extensive ha-ha and the inclusion of an unimproved area of pasture within the straight perimeter walks. Alexander Pope praised this layout in his ...

Article

Margherita Azzi Visentini

Palace and estate at Stra, near Padua, overlooking the Brenta Canal, formerly owned by the noble Venetian Pisani family. Around 1718 Almorò Pisani and his brother Alvise Pisani (Doge of Venice, 1735) commissioned the Paduan Count Girolamo Frigimelica (1653–1732) to redesign their modest family residence at Stra. Work began in 1720 with modifications to the garden, which was adorned with 12 sculptural groups by Giovanni Bonazza; these represented mythological divinities and allegorical figures. The Villa is divided in two parts by the straight central axis that leads from the entrance portal through the centre of the Palazzo to the end of the garden, where it halts at the elegant stables with their projecting Ionic porch between curved outer wings. In the middle was a large lawn (here in the early 20th century a long pool was excavated). At the sides of this area were several oblique paths leading to various outbuildings designed by Frigimelica—the belvedere, the exedra that linked the long avenues of limes, and the maze with its turret at the centre. Part of this was recorded in the drawings of ...

Article

Giles Worsley

English landscape garden near Ripon, N. Yorks, laid out for John Aislabie (1670–1742) and his son William Aislabie (1700–81) from c. 1716 to 1781. John Aislabie’s first landscape garden was Hall Barn, Bucks, which he improved from 1713 with assistance from the architect Colen Campbell. In 1721 Aislabie was dismissed from his post of Chancellor of the Exchequer, following the financial disaster of the South Sea Bubble, but he nevertheless managed to keep a substantial part of the vast fortune he had acquired. His retirement was devoted to laying out the estate at Studley Royal, which he had inherited in 1699. Aislabie’s garden was laid out beyond the house (destr.) in the narrow valley of the River Skell. A stretch of the Skell (c. 330 m) was canalized, and this, together with the Moon Pond and the two crescent-shaped pools that flank it, forms the central feature of the overall design. A substantial lake was made at the north end of the canal; to the south, beyond where the Skell curves around a steep hill before the valley opens up into the broad Abbey Green, are the ruins of the Cistercian ...

Article

Robert Williams

(b East Stratton, nr Micheldever, Hants, bapt Feb 25, 1683; d London, June 8, 1745).

English garden designer and writer. He was first trained as a gardener at one of Sir William Russell’s country seats, Stratton House, near Winchester, Hants, and then went to work for George London and Henry Wise at their Brompton Park nursery in London. From c. 1700 he learnt estate management, first under London at Castle Howard, N. Yorks, then under Wise at Blenheim Palace, Oxon. From c. 1714 Switzer was employed at various estates: the forested park at Cirencester, Glos, for Allen, 1st Lord Bathurst; at Grimsthorpe, Lincs, for Robert Bertie, Marquess of Lindsey; and at Marston House, Somerset, where for Charles Boyle, 4th Earl of Orrery, he added fountains and cascades.

Despite these various works, Switzer’s reputation rests largely on his writings. Formatively influenced by Joseph Addison’s Spectator essays (1712), in which a Lockean epistemology was brought to bear on discussions linking husbandry, landscaping and the creative imagination, Switzer sought to promote this ...

Article

Gavin Townsend

(TVA)

Federal Agency, founded in 1933. Chartered by the US Congress on May 18, 1933, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was established to control the flooding of the Tennessee River and to generate the enormous amounts of hydroelectric power needed nationally. To fulfill its aims, TVA constructed dams, hydroelectric plants, locks and housing throughout the Tennessee River basin, employing thousands of workers in Southern Appalachia and providing economic relief and electricity to one of the most impoverished regions of the country.

The first task was to provide housing for TVA’s construction workers in Norris, TN. Under Earle S. Draper, Director of TVA’s Division of Land Planning and Housing, TVA architects in 1934 produced a series of well-designed houses built in traditional styles and materials and arranged along winding roads in the manner of an English “garden city.” Norris included a common central green and a band of wilderness around the town. The arrangement was later used on a much larger scale (...

Article

Robert Williams

(b ?Yorks, Dec 25, 1865; d London, March 27, 1950).

British landscape designer, architect and writer. He was the nephew of the landscape designer William Brodrick Thomas (1811–98) and trained (1886–9) as an architect in the London office of G. F. Bodley and Thomas Garner (1839–1906). The success that he and fellow architect Reginald Blomfield had with The Formal Garden in England (1892), a polemical history (illustrated in part by Thomas) that popularized the formal gardens of the 17th century and the early 18th, led to a number of large commissions in the 1890s, establishing him as one of the leading revivalists of the time. He was less busy during the Edwardian era, and his activities in Russia and elsewhere during World War I spelt the end of his career. Most of the dozen or so commissions for gardens that Thomas obtained were from new owners of Tudor manor houses bought cheaply during a glut in the country-house market; these owners required him to restore or enlarge their houses, and to complement them with sympathetically designed revivalist gardens inspired by English Renaissance and Baroque formal examples. His finest gardens of the 1890s are at Athelhampton, Dorset (...

Article

Topiary  

Brent Elliott

Art of cutting or training trees and shrubs into decorative, sometimes fantastic, forms. The term is derived from opus topiarium (Lat.: ornamental gardening), by which Pliny the Elder (Natural History XII.xiii) meant a wide repertory of garden activities; subsequent misinterpretation led to its identification solely with the art of shaping trees and shrubs. Pliny also described this particular activity, however: he noted how cypress trees were ‘clipped and trained to form hedge-rows, or … thinned and lengthened out in the various designs … which represent scenes of hunting, fleets and various other objects’. He credited Gaius Matius with the invention of clipping arbours ‘within the last 80 years’ (i.e. towards the end of the 1st century bc). In Roman gardens trees were sometimes even clipped into the shapes of letters, for example so as to spell out the name of the gardener.

Interest in ancient Roman gardening (as described by Pliny) led to a revival of topiary in the 15th century, although the complexity of patterns then in use has been adduced as evidence for the lingering influence of a medieval tradition in which plants were trained on frames. By the second half of the 16th century, the garden at the ...

Article

David Rodgers

English family of gardeners and collectors. John Tradescant the elder (b London, 1590s; d Lambeth, 1638) was gardener in turn to Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, Edward, 1st Baron Wotton (1548–1626), George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, and Charles I. In 1611 he travelled in France and the Low Countries, collecting plants for Salisbury; it was probably on this journey that he also began to collect ‘curiosities’. In June 1618 he travelled to Russia in the suite of Sir Dudley Digges (1583–1639), the Ambassador to Russia, returning the following September; his diary of this voyage (Oxford, Ashmolean) records, inter alia, his acquisition of a coat from Greenland made of fish entrails. In 1626 Tradescant bought a house in South Lambeth where he established his renowned ‘Closett of Rarities’, enhanced by gifts from Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, Buckingham and William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury. His son, ...

Article

James Holderbaum

[Niccolò di Raffaello de’ Pericoli; il Tribolo]

(b ?Florence, 1500; d ?Florence, Sept 7, 1550).

Italian sculptor, engineer and garden designer. He was apprenticed in Florence first as a wood-carver with Giovanni d’Alesso d’Antonio and then as a sculptor with Jacopo Sansovino, whom he continued to assist well into the second decade of the 16th century. Vasari listed many works (most now untraced) from Tribolo’s youth, among which was his earliest fountain; an old terracotta copy (London, V&A) shows this unpretentious and slightly old-fashioned work to have featured two children and a spouting dolphin that foreshadow the blithe charm of his later masterpieces.

Tribolo was famously unassertive and often adapted his art to suit established or collaborative projects. His plump and lissom putto (marble, c. 1523–4) on the lower right of Baldassare Peruzzi’s tomb of Hadrian VI (Rome, S Maria dell’Anima) indicates his exposure both to antique sculpture and to contemporary Roman work, especially that of Michelangelo’s maturity. In 1525–7 he collaborated on façade sculpture for S Petronio, Bologna, where his portal relief of ...

Article

Monica E. Kupfer

(b Horconcitos, Chiriquí, Feb 11, 1927).

Panamanian painter, ceramicist, printmaker, tapestry designer and landscape architect. He studied both architecture and painting in Panama, holding his first exhibition in 1953; he then continued his studies in Madrid (1954–8) at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, at the Escuela de Cerámica de la Moncloa and at the Escuela Superior de Arquitectura. In 1959 he returned to Panama, where he began a long teaching career at the Universidad de Panamá. In the early 1960s Trujillo painted social satires, such as The Commissioners (1964; Panama City, Mus. A. Contemp.) with small monstrous figures in cavernous settings. Later his palette brightened as he turned to new subjects based on nature, including numerous still-lifes and semi-abstract paintings with botanical allusions, for example Still-life with Fruit (1975; Washington, DC, A. Mus. Americas).

Always a versatile and prolific artist, in the 1970s and 1980s he based his subjects both on his rich imagination and on his knowledge of Panama’s indigenous cultures. He made recurring reference to the patterns of pre-Columbian ceramics, natural and biomorphic forms, mythological and primitive figures, and Indian symbols and ceremonies, all treated as elements of an iconography strongly related to his Panamanian origin. Although generally classified as belonging to the return to figuration among Latin American artists, he ranged stylistically from realism to abstraction....

Article

Bruce A. Coats

Japanese residential garden in Hōfu (Yamaguchi Prefect.). It was laid out in 1712 by the poet, tea master and Zen practitioner Katsura Tadaharu, a member of the Mōri clan that governed the area. Tadaharu was familiar with the many great Zen gardens of Kyoto, and Tsuki Katsura is unusual in the history of Japanese gardens (see Garden §VI 3.) as a residential garden whose bold design was strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism. The name Tsuki Katsura (‘moon cinnamon’) is derived from the Chinese fable that describes the shadows on the surface of the moon as a rabbit standing beneath a cinnamon tree, and a Zen koan (riddle) from the Blue Cliff Record (Chin. Bi yan lu; Jap. Hekiganroku; late 11th century–early 12th), which deals with the inexplicable nature of wisdom.

The garden is L-shaped and encloses the main house on its southern and eastern fronts. It is bounded by a low, yellow plastered wall, raised on a cut-stone base edged with moss and capped by clay tiles. These varied textures are important, since the only other elements are rough boulders, raked gravel and tiny patches of lichen. Nineteen stones, nearly all of which have flat tops, are set into a gravel bed, while one monolith in the shape of a crescent moon is set on a small stone base in the south-east corner. The horizontality of the wall, rocks and raked gravel gives the space a dynamic flow. The only vertical features are the crescent-shaped stone and the nearby rock at which it points. Together they create a visual tension that balances the corner where they stand. The stark simplicity of the space, which is softened only by the trees outside, and the dramatic placement of the stones give Tsuki Katsura a haunting, enigmatic quality. More like a sculptural display than a garden, it had a strong influence on late 20th-century Japanese landscape design....

Article

Monique Riccardi-Cubitt

French term used to describe artefacts made in Turkey, or in France by Turkish craftsmen, and by derivation the influence on French design of elements from the Byzantine Empire, the Saljuq Islamic period and the Ottoman Empire. Specific motifs, borrowed from the original Turkish carpets, included arabesques or stylized flowers and vegetal scrolls and decorative animal forms—also included within the generic term ‘grotesques’—from the Renaissance onwards. From the Middle Ages inventories and accounts record objects façon de Turquie imported from the East through the Crusades or the Silk route. In the accounts (1316) of Geoffroi de Fleuri, treasurer to King Philippe V of France, ‘11 cloths of Turkey’ were noted, and in 1471 the inventory of the château of Angers records a wooden spoon and a cushion ‘à la façon de Turquie’. In the 16th century Turkish textiles were highly prized, and Turkish craftsmen were employed in Paris to embroider cloth for ladies’ dresses: in ...

Article

Twickel  

Dutch garden near Delden, in the province of Overijssel. In the 17th century the gardens were designed in typical Dutch Renaissance style, with canals, parterres and woodland. In 1676 Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam married a descendant of Herman van Twickelo and commissiond Daniel Marot I to redesign the gardens. Marot’s remaining design shows intricate parterres, bordered at the top with a semicircular canal, which appears in a mid-18th-century map of the garden; this also shows that further changes were made, including the introduction of parterres in the Rococo style and a small English garden, probably an early example of such a garden in the Netherlands. In 1765 the garden was opened to the public. Between 1770 and 1794 the garden was increasingly anglicized and the formal design gradually gave way to a landscape (although the older structure remained visible) and Marot’s canal became an irregular lake. On the lake was a thatched hut, possibly after a design by ...

Article

Uzgend  

V. D. Goryacheva

[Uzgand; Uzgen]

Town in Kyrgyzstan. Located between the Kara and Yassa (Dzhaza) rivers in the eastern part of the Ferghana Valley, Uzgend is set on three hills and comprises three free-standing towns and citadels surrounded by suburban estates and gardens. The town developed in the 8th and 9th centuries along the Silk Route as a border post on the frontier between the lands of Islam and the Turks. In the 10th and 11th centuries it became the major trading and administrative centre in the region and the fourth largest town in Ferghana, covering 12–15 sq. km. From the second half of the 11th century to the beginning of the 13th it was the capital of the Ferghana region of the Qarakhanid khanate, and the major architectural ensemble of the town, comprising three dynastic mausolea, the Friday mosque and minaret, and the remains of a madrasa, dates from this period. Square chambers with ...

Article

Hervé Paindaveine

(b Brussels, Oct 18, 1883; d Montreux, Oct 12, 1929).

Belgian urban planner, landscape designer and painter. He was trained as a landscape designer by his father, Louis-Léopold Van der Swaelmen, and took an active part in the foundation of the Union Internationale des Villes during the Exposition Universelle et Internationale at Ghent (1913). There he met Patrick Geddes who had a deep influence on his ideas about urban planning. During World War I Van der Swaelmen was exiled in the Netherlands where he became close to H. P. Berlage; during this time he prepared for the reconstruction of his country by centralizing research and documentation in the Comité Néerlando-belge d’Art Civique, which he founded in 1916. In that year he also published his ideas as Préliminaires d’art civique, which was one of the first explicit theories on functionalist urban planning to be published in Belgium. Having returned there after the war, he organized modernist urban planners into the ...

Article

Roger White

(b Durham, bapt Feb 20, 1718; d London, May 17, 1765).

English architect, engraver and furniture designer. The son of a gardener, he was appointed Clerk of the Works at the Queen’s House, Greenwich, in 1736 and was clerk at a succession of royal buildings, notably at the London palaces of Whitehall, Westminster and St James’s (1746–54). In this capacity he became closely associated with William Kent, whose Horse Guards scheme he was responsible for executing and possibly modifying (1750–59). He engraved and published a number of Kent’s designs (notably in Some Designs of Mr Inigo Jones and Mr William Kent, 1744). Not surprisingly, Kent’s influence is strongly felt in Vardy’s own work, such as the ‘New Stone Building’ adjoining Westminster Hall (begun 1755; destr. 1883) and the unexecuted scheme (1754) for a building for the new British Museum in Old Palace Yard, Westminster.

Vardy’s private commissions included the remodelling (1761–3) of Hackwood Park (destr. in later alterations, ...

Article

Arthur Channing Downs

(b London, Dec 20, 1824; d Bensonhurst, NY, Nov 19, 1895).

American architect and landscape designer of English birth. He was apprenticed (?1840–45) to the architect Lewis Nockalls Cottingham in London. In 1846 he and George Truefitt (1824–1902) toured Europe and afterwards helped found the Architectural Association in London.

In 1850 Vaux accepted the offer of A(ndrew) J(ackson) Downing to work in Newburgh, NY, and in 1851 the two formed a partnership. Vaux became involved in an expanding architectural and landscape design business extending from New England to Washington, DC. After Downing’s death (1852), Vaux collected the partnership’s house plans and his own designs done alone or with Frederick Clarke Withers and published them as Villas and Cottages (1857). This became the principal vehicle for transmitting Downing’s distinctly American planning idioms to builders and the architectural profession. Opposed to Revivalism, Vaux was probably the era’s first architectural author to abandon style-based design titles. Believing that all styles have the ‘self-same geometry’, he urged that they all be studied, but only for the appropriate ideas, not ‘authority’. Having been naturalized in ...

Article

French château c. 6 km north-east of Melun, in the département of Seine-et-Marne. It was built in 1656–61 for Nicolas Fouquet, Louis XIV’s Surintendant des Finances, by Louis Le Vau (see Le Vau family §(1) 3.) with the assistance of Charles Le Brun (see Le Brun, Charles §1, (ii), (b)). The gardens were laid out by André Le Nôtre under Le Vau’s guidance. The forerunner of Versailles, it is the most important château built in France in the mid-17th century; it was here that Le Vau, Le Brun and Le Nôtre learnt to work as a team and to produce the unity of architecture, interior decoration and garden layout that distinguishes the Louis XIV style.

Built in creamy limestone, the main block of the château is of compact design and sits in splendid isolation, surrounded by a moat and with an inner forecourt without flanking wings. The entrance front is a series of recessed planes with two-bay outer pavilions with tall roofs overlapping two-bay inner pavilions with mansard roofs that provide a necessary intermediary between the lower roof of the main block. The outer forecourt beyond the moat is flanked by two vast courtyards of stables and service buildings in brick and stone, providing the architectural overture to the château and the huge formal gardens beyond. The château and courtyards are visually related by the use of tall roofs on the pavilions nearest the château and mansard roofs on those nearest the entrance gates. On the garden side of the château the composition is dominated by an oval dome, a feature first introduced by Le Vau at Le Raincy (begun ...

Article

Reinhard Zimmermann

Village in Bavaria, 7 km north-east of Würzburg, Germany. The garden at Veitshöchheim is the best-preserved Rococo garden in Germany. It was created in several stages between 1702 and 1776 as the pleasure-ground of the Prince–Bishops of Würzburg, who had had a summer residence with a pheasantry at Veitshöchheim since 1680. In the first phase after 1702, under Prince–Bishop Johann Philipp von Greiffenklau, the basic layout was established; the final, luxurious elaboration, with ornaments, sculptures and waterworks, was executed in 1763–8 under Adam Friedrich von Seinsheim; it was planned by Johann Philipp Geigel (1757–1800), with sculptures by Ferdinand Tietz, Johann Wolfgang von der Auwera and Johann Peter Wagner. The garden (270×475 m) consists of two parts of different sizes, each with its own axis of symmetry. The smaller part is related symmetrically to the castle (designed by Heinrich Zimmer, 1680–82; extended by Balthasar Neumann, 1749–53), the far larger part lying to one side of it to the south; its east–west main axis is parallel to that of the palace garden. The large, transverse, rectangular garden, laid out with trees and hedges, is divided in the longitudinal (north–south) direction into three zones of unequal widths, each representing iconographically distinct spheres. The narrow wooded strip to the east with animal figures points to the realm of nature; the somewhat broader strip next to it with deciduous trees, hedges and stone figures of cavaliers, court ladies and playing children addresses the sphere of courtly culture; while the broad strip to the west embellished with two lakes represents the world of gods and the arts. Mount Parnassus with a grotto base (...

Article

Simone Hoog

Town and château in France, 20 km south-west of Paris. A hunting-lodge built for King Louis XIII in 1623 was rebuilt with extensive gardens from 1631 (see fig.). Under King Louis XIV it became the main royal residence and the seat of the French government from 1682. The château was enlarged in two main phases, first by Louis Le Vau from 1668, then, from 1678, by Jules Hardouin Mansart. The interior decorations were carried out under the supervision of the Premier Peintre du Roi, Charles Le Brun.

The gardens at Versailles, laid out by André Le Nôtre, with a programme of sculptures directed by Le Brun, were designed to complement the château: their solar imagery (see §2 below) was directly related to the image of Louis XIV as the Roi Soleil (Sun King). Further altered by Louis XV, Versailles was one of the most resplendent European palaces of the 18th century, a symbol of French royal power and an exemplar for contemporary monarchs....