The Sister Arts - British Gardening, Painting, & Poetry (1700-1832)
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Sublime > Landscapes & Gardens > Intro

Thomas Whately, in his 1770 Observations on Modern Gardening, praises sublime effects in landscape gardening, advising designers that:

"a little inclination towards melancholy is generally acceptable, at least to the exclusion of all gaiety,; and beyond that point, so far as to throw just a tinge of gloom upon the scene. For this purpose, the objects whose colour is obscure should be preferred; and those which are too bright may be thrown into shadow; the wood may be thickened, and the dark greens abound in it; if it is necessarily thin, yews and shabby firs should be scattered about it; and sometimes, to shew a withering or a dead tree, it may for a pace be cleared entirely away."

Landscape gardeners who wished to achieve sublime effects tried to heighten nature’s natural mystery by using extremes of height, shadow, steepness and distance in their work.