An essay on the picturesque by Sir Uvedale Price

By Sir Uvedale Price

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Page 55. belwien lines 15 and 16 the word than omilttd. 125. 1. 9. /" seldoms, read seldom. 207. L 17. fur opposites, read opposite. 238. 1. 3. fir an, read and. 249. 1. 13. for what a multitude, read what such a multitude. 290. 1. 3. for well, read dwell. 291. 1. 3. far can be, read is. 舒 1. 4. for be, read can be. 360. note, 1. 5. from the bottom, for have, read hath. 36-. 1. ult. for have, read hath. f I ^ HERE is no country, I believe (if we except China) where the art of laying out grounds is so much cultivated as it now is in England.

Observing, must have something of the. sublime, the beautiful,or the picturesque; and every man will allow that he would wiih to preserve and to heighten, certainly not to weaken or destroy, their prevailing character. The most obvious method of succeeding in the one, and of avoiding the other, is by studying their causes and ef A 3 sects; sects; but to confine that study to scenery only, would, like all confined studies for a particular purpose, tend to contract the mind; at least when compared with a more comprehensive view of the subject; I have therefore endeavoured to take the most enlarged view possible, and to include in it whatever had any relation to the character I was occupied in tracing, or which shewed its distinction from those which a very superior mind had already investigated; and sure I am, that he who studies the various effects and characters of form, colour, and light and shadow, and examines and compares those characters and effects, and the manner in which they are combined and disposed, both in pictures and in nature,舒will be better qualified to arrange, certainly to enjoy, his own and every scenery, than he who has only thought of the most fashion-, able arrangement of objects; or has looked at nature alone, without having acquired any just principles of selection.

Burke has pointed out many instances of these ill-judged applications, and of the confusion of ideas which result from them; but there is nothing more ill-judged, or more likely to create confusion 9vif we agree with Mr. Burke in his idea of beauty) than j the joining it to the word picturesque, and calling the character by the title of Picturesque Beauty. S I must observe, however, that I by no means object to the expression itself, I only object to it as^a general term for the character, and as comprehending every kind of of scenery, and every set of objects which look well in a picture: That is the fense (as far as I have observed) in which it is very commonly used, and, consequents an old hovel, an old cart horse, or an old woman, are often, in that sense, full of picturesque beauty, and certainly the application of the last term to such objects must: tend to confuse our ideas; but were the expression restrained to those objects only in which the picturesque and the beautiful are mixed together, and so mixed, that the result, according to common apprehension, is beautiful; and were it never used when the picturesque (as it no less frequently happens) is mixed solely with what is terrible, ugly, or deformed, I should highly approve of the expression, and wish for more distinctions of the fame kind.

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