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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

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

(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 (...