Sep 13, 2008

Stourhead & sketches

On the way back from France, we made a stop to Stourhead, it has been a must since I got to England. This garden is considered a living work of art and is the best example of what a landscape garden is. It was designed by Henry Hoare the Second. What is interesting is that this garden was inspired by the paintings of Poussin. What is exciting is that Poussin has been a favorite painter of mine for a long time, simply because whenever I look at his work, I want to be there. Now was my chance.
This is the famous view of the Palladian Bridge with the Pantheon in the background. Note the people in the background for scale.

The garden is laid out around lake that sets up many views and vistas to stop and take in. There are many shrubs and trees but not so much to see regarding herbaceous material. Some of the tree specimens are just incredible.

Here is the Pantheon up close which is a temple dedicated to statues of classical deities. This building used to be used for picnics and dinner parties by Henry Hoare the Second.

Another view of the lake with some of the statuesque trees on the banks.
Here is something impressive, the large trunks of Taxus baccata. I am sure if more people could see this they wouldn't be considered so common.
There was a grotto here which is probably the best I have ever seen. Grottoes first started in Italian Renaissance gardens which were used as a place to get out of the intense summer heat so you could cool off. The view is of the Temple of Apollo which was built in 1765.
This is the sleeping nymph, with which a 15th-century poem is carved:

Nymph of the Grot, these sacred springs I keep

And to the Murmur of these Waters sleep;

Ah! Spare my slumbers, gently tread the cave

And drink in silence or in silence lave [wash].

There is something amazing about being in a garden that was created in the 1740's and is still standing today, and still creating so much excitement.

After being inspired in France and then by Poussins influence at Stourhead, I got even more involved in my sketchbook.
This was a quick sketch of a young apple tree at Dixter, though I am not sure what cultivar. Seeing apples growing on trees always gets me a bit nostalgic for autumn in New York, specifically the Hudson Valley. My sister and I always go apple and pumpkin picking in New Paltz, at the height of fall color.

This is Rye,which used to be on the coast but is no longer, which has a famous street called Mermaid Street, which this is looking towards. This street got its name from a sailor who said he saw and heard a mermaid calling him up there. Those are old fishing huts on the left, where the sailors would hang their nets and supplies.
Something I have noticed about old sketchbooks from my past is that there is always a drawing of the room that I am then living in. So Dixter would be no different.

More apples, they are always easy to find and can be drawn anywhere.

A street corner in Ireland.

Airports, and trains, are always a great place for me to get some quick sketches of people. This was a favorite of mine to do when I lived in Brooklyn and would ride the subway. These took place at the Dublin Airport.

No comments:

Post a Comment