Sir Uvedale Price's An essay on the picturesque PDF

By Sir Uvedale Price

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I have said little of the superior variety and effect of light and shade in scenes of this kind, as they of course must follow variety of forms and of masses, and intricacy of disposition: I wished to avoid all detail that did not appear to me necessary to explain or illustrate some general principles; but when general principles are put crudely without examples, they not only are dry, but obscure, and make no impression. There are several ways in which a spot of this kind, near a gentleman9s place, would probably be improved; for even in the monotony of what is called improvement there is a variety of bad.

These are called the principles of painting, because that art has pointed them out more clearly, by separating what was most striking and well combined, from the less interesting and scattered objects of general scenery; but they are in reality the general principles on which the effect of all visible objects must depend, and to which it must be referred; Nothing Nothing can be more directly at was with all these principles (founded as they are in truth and in nature) than the present system of laying out grounds.

But there is one circumstance particularly adverse to this part of my essay; I mean the manifest derivation of the word picturesque. The Italian pittoresco is, I imagine, of earlier date than either the English or the French word, the latter of which, pittoresque, is clearly taken from it, having, no analogy to its own tongue. Pittoresco is derived, not like the English word, from the thing painted, but from the painter; and this difference is not wholly immaterial; for the one refers to a particular imitation, and the objects, which may suit it; the other to those objects, which, from the habit of examining all the peculiar effects, as well as the general appearance of nature, an artist may be struck with, though a common observer may not; and that independently of os the power of representing them.

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An essay on the picturesque by Sir Uvedale Price


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