“All gardening is landscape painting,' said Alexander Pope. (18th century poet)
For Alexander Pope (1720 – 1742), Joseph Addison (1672 –1719) and many of the educated of 18th-century Britain, gardens were living works of art. Inspired by the Grand Tour and by the pictures of painters such as Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin they, in turn, inspired and influenced a generation of continental garden-makers who created “English” gardens across Europe by creating landscapes for a focus upon physical and mental exercise, and well-being. Very much like the current lockdown situation!
Pope built a villa in the Palladian style, facing the river, in Twickenham (SE London). The riverside garden (his 'grassplot') was small, so he leased five acres – literally across the road so he obtained a licence to construct a tunnel under the road to connect the two. He managed to fit in narratives, plenty of classical references, a Renaissance-referenced fountain, a bust of Homer and a grotto.
“Much of the Grotto survives…and represents the idea of art imitating nature and is seen as a symbol reflecting Pope's life and development as a poet”. Check out: Twickenham Museum
One to add to the ever growing list of ‘places to visit’ when circumstances allow…