Brown banished formal, symmetrical, Baroque gardens from taste, which were imports from the French Renaissance. His landscapes were naturalistic, conforming with the new concept of 'the picturesque'.
Undulating grasses, clumps of trees, a shrub here, a lake there; Brown took his cue from the Italian landscape painting, which The Grand Tour had popularised. He compares his design process to writing:
"here I make a comma, and there, where a more decided turn is proper, I make a colon; at another part, where an interruption is desirable to break the view, a parenthesis; now a full stop, and then I begin another subject”.
This year marks 300 years since the birth of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (so called because of his blue-sky tendency to insist that every landscape had great 'capabilities', i.e. 'potential'.) An enormous, nationwide festival will celebrate his tercentenary.
Out of the hundreds of events (click here for the full list) we're particularly looking forward to the major exhibitions at Blenheim Palace, Hampton Court and the magnificent Harewood House. Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire will boats a newly implemented Brown landscape from a recently rediscovered plan he had drawn up for the estate - landscaping from beyond the grave.
The real pleasure, though, will be found in exploring Brown's glorious gardens, and by extension, the sensibilities of a vanished world.
|What||Capability Brown Festival 2016|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||King's Cross St. Pancras (underground)|
03 Mar 16 – 31 Jan 17, Various
|Website||Click here for more information|