[[File:1165.jpg|thumb|left|Fig. 3, William Williams, ''Deborah Hall'', 1766.]]
[[File:1675.jpg|thumb|Fig. 4, Anonymous, Vignette of contrasting garden styles, in [[A. J. Downing]], ''A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening'', 4th ed. (1849), 17. Separated by a centrally placed tree, this prospect depicts the characteristic differences between the geometrically defined “'''"ancient style'''” " on the left and the loosely arranged plantings of the “[[Modern_style/Natural_style|modern style]]” on the right.]] This category of garden style was generally described in relation or in contrast to a [[modern style]], a dualism continuing the traditional argument of the ancient versus the modern that had characterized intellectual debate since the 17th century.<ref>Joseph M. Levine, “John Evelyn: Between the Ancients and the Moderns,” in ''John Evelyn’s “Elysium Britannicum” and European Gardening'', ed. T. O’Malley and J. Wolschke-Bulmahn (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1998), 57–78, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/3CHBXD8V view on Zotero].</ref> In late 18th- and early 19th-century garden theory, landscape art was divided into one or the other general category. [[Andrew Jackson Downing|A. J. Downing’s]] ''A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening'' (1849) opens with a vignette illustrating these two modes [Fig. 4]. The geometric and regular gardens associated with premodern styles, such as the Dutch, French, and Italian [Fig. 5], became foils for the newer, irregular styles of the [[picturesque]] movement. When [[Benjamin Henry Latrobe]] visited [[Mount Vernon]], he sketched it from vantage points that emphasized its natural [[park]]-like setting. However, he criticized the [[parterre]]s of the Upper Garden, which were designed in an ancient geometric mode “laid out in [[square]], and boxed with great precision. . . . For the first time since I left Germany, I saw here a [[parterre]], chipped and trimmed with infinite care into the form of a richly flourished Fleur de Lis: The expiring groans I hope of our Grandfather[s’] pedantry.”<ref>[[Benjamin Henry Latrobe]], ''The Virginia Journals of [[Benjamin Henry Latrobe]], 1795–1798'', 2 vols., ed. Edward C. Carter II (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1977), 1:165 [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/SZEEBG9K view on Zotero].</ref> At the end of the 18th century, the ancient style was seen as retarditaire in the face of the emerging and more fashionable [[modern style]].
[[File:1686.jpg|thumb|Fig. 5, James Smillie after a sketch by A. O. Moore, “Italian Garden and [[Lake]] at Wellesley near Boston,” in [[A. J. Downing]], ''A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening'', 4th ed. (1849), pl. opp. 452.]]
The association of the American political system with the democracy of ancient Greece or republican Rome was a frequent argument for the appropriateness of the neoclassical over the romantic style in public or governmental projects during the early national era.<ref>See William H. Pierson Jr., ''American Buildings and Their Architects: Technology and the Picturesque, the Corporate and the Early Gothic Styles'' (New York: Doubleday, 1978), 8, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/J8FITVZG view on Zotero].</ref> For this reason it seems that in spite of the fashion for the natural or irregular garden style, the “old and formal style of design” never disappeared.<ref>A. J. Downing, “The State and Prospects of Horticulture,” ''Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste'' 6, no. 12 (December 1851): 540, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/keywords_in_early_american_landscape_design/items/itemKey/XR68IJEG/q/state%20and%20prospects view on Zotero].</ref> In fact, according to a writer in the ''Horticulturist'' in 1852, it remained the predominant style throughout “Yankeedom.” Even [[A. J. Downing|Downing]], the chief exponent of the [[modern style]] in America, employed the ancient or [[geometric style]] for portions of his design for the [[National Mall]] in Washington, DC.<ref> See Therese O’Malley, “Picturesque Plan for the Mall,” in ''The Mall in Washington, 1791–1991'', ed. Richard Longstreth (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1991), 61–78, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/9ACAMFXP view on Zotero].</ref>
<span id="Downing_citeDowning_1849_cite"></span>In his description of “Plantations in the Ancient Style,” [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] contributed a political valence to the history of the style when he wrote that “symmetrical uniformity governed with despotic power even the trees and foliage” ([[#DowningDowning_1849|view text]]). This interpretation of the neoclassical styles in garden and architectural design might explain why [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] declared it expressive of power and therefore appropriate for public edifices and their immediate grounds. Despite his preference for the [[modern style]], [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] justified the ancient style in America, writing that its distinct artifice would give more pleasure by contrast to the surrounding landscape, which, in America, was abounding with natural beauty.<ref>Downing 1849, 92, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/K7BRCDC5 view on Zotero].</ref> Both [[A. J. Downing|Downing]] and his predecessor, [[J. C. Loudon]], sought to highlight the hand of the artist seen in contrasting designed or improved scenery with the natural appearance of a given site. Thus the ancient style survived the overwhelming preference or taste for the [[modern style]].
—''Therese O’Malley''
*<div id="Downing_1849"></div>[[A. J. Downing|Downing, Andrew Jackson]], 1849, describing [[Belmont (Philadelphia)|Belmont]], estate of [[William Peters|Judge William Peters]], near Philadelphia, PA; [[Lemon Hill]], estate of [[Henry Pratt]], Philadelphia, PA; and [[Clermont]], estate of Robert R. Livingston, Germantown, NY (1849; repr. 1991: 42–44)<ref name="Downing_1849">A. J. Downing, ''A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Adapted to North America. . . '', 4th ed. (1849; repr., Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1991), [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/K7BRCDC5 view on Zotero].</ref>
:“The [[seat]] of the late [[William Peters|Judge Peters]], about five miles from Philadelphia, was, 30 years ago, a noted specimen of the '''ancient''' school of [[landscape gardening]]. . . Long and stately [[avenue]]s, with [[vista]]s terminated by [[obelisk]]s, a garden adorned with marble [[vase]]s, busts, and [[statue]]s, and [[pleasure ground]]s filled with the rarest trees and shrubs, were conspicuous features here. . .
:“''[[Lemon Hill]]'', half a mile above the Fairmount waterworks of Philadelphia, was, 20 years ago, the most perfect specimen of the geometric mode in America, and since its destruction by the extension of the city, a few years since, there is nothing comparable with it, in that style, among us. All the symmetry, uniformity, and high art of the old school, were displayed here in artificial [[plantation]]s, formal gardens with [[trellis]]es, [[grotto]]es, spring-houses, [[temple]]s, [[statue]]s, and [[vase]]s, with numerous [[pond]]s of water, [[jet|jets-d’eau]], and other water-works, [[parterre]]s and an extensive range of [[hothouse]]s. The effect of this garden was brilliant and striking; its position, on the lovely banks of the Schuylkill, admirable; and its liberal proprietor, [[Henry Pratt|Mr. Pratt]], by opening it freely to the public, greatly increased the popular taste in the neighborhood of that city.
:“On the Hudson, the show place of the last age was the still interesting ''[[Clermont]]'', then the residence of Chancellor Livingston. Its level or gently undulating [[lawn]], four or five miles in length, the rich native [[wood]]s, and the long [[vista]]s of planted [[avenue]]s, added to its fine water [[view]], rendered this a noble place. The mansion, the [[greenhouse]]s, and the gardens, show something of the French taste in design, which Mr. Livingston’s residence abroad, at the time when that mode was popular, no doubt, led him to adopt. . .
:“Judge Peters’ [[seat]], [[Lemon Hill]], and [[Clermont]], were [the best specimens] of the '''ancient style''', in the earliest period of the history of [[Landscape Gardening]] among us.”[[#Downing_1849_cite|back up to History]]
<br/>
:“6093. . . . The '''ancient''' geometric '''style''', in place of irregular groups, employed symmetrical forms; in France, adding [[statue]]s and [[fountain]]s; in Holland, cut trees and grassy [[slope]]s; and in Italy, stone [[wall]]s, walled [[terrace]]s, and flights of steps. . .
:“7161. . . . From these different theories [of [[landscape gardening]]], as well as from the general objects or end of gardening, there appear to be two principles which enter into its composition; those which regard it as a mixed art, or an art of design, and which are called the principles of relative beauty; and those which regard it as an imitative art, and are called the principles of natural or universal beauty. The '''ancient''' or geometric '''gardening''' is guided wholly by the former principles; [[landscape gardening|landscape-gardening]], as an imitative art, wholly by the latter; but as the art of forming a country-residence, its arrangements are influenced by both principles. . .
[[File:1365.jpg|thumb|Fig. 6, [[J. C. Loudon]], The operations on ground under the '''"ancient style'''", in ''An Encyclopaedia of Gardening'', 4th ed. (1826), 1002, fig. 683.]]
:“7196. . . . If a deformed space has been restored to natural beauty, we are delighted with the effect, whilst we recollect the difference between the present and the former surface; but when this is forgotten, though the beauty remains, the credit for having produced it is lost. In this respect, the operations on ground under the '''[[ancient style]]''', have a great and striking advantage; for an absolute perfection is to be attained in the formation of geometrical forms, and the beauty created is so entirely artificial . . . as never to admit a doubt of its origin. . . [Fig. 6]
:“7256. ''[[Terrace]] and [[conservatory]]''. We observed, when treating of ground, and under the '''[[ancient style]]''', that the design of the [[terrace]] must be jointly influenced by the magnitude and style of the house, the [[view]]s from its windows, (that is, from the eye of a person seated in the middle of the principal rooms,) and the [[view]]s of the house from a distance. In almost every case, more or less of architectural form will enter into these compositions.”
:“''The '''ancient''' English [[flower garden|flower-garden]]'' is formed of [[bed]]s, connected together so as to form a regular or symmetrical figure; the [[bed]]s being edged with Box, or sometimes with flowering plants, and planted with herbaceous flowers, Roses, and one or two other kinds of low flowering shrubs. The flowers in the [[bed]]s are generally mixed in such a manner, that some may show blossoms every month during summer, and that some may retain their leaves during winter. This kind of garden should be surrounded by a [[border]] of evergreen and deciduous shrubs, backed by low trees; and in the centre there should be a [[sundial]], a [[vase]], a [[statue]], or a [[basin]] and [[fountain]].”
<div id="Fig_7"></div>[[File:0370.jpg|thumb|Fig. 7, Anonymous, “The [[Geometric style]], from an old print,” in [[A. J. Downing]], ''A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening'', 4th ed. (1849), 62, fig. 14. The orthogonal, symmetrical paths, embellished by tightly clipped and regularly placed plantings, reflect the highly ordered character of the '''"ancient style'''". [[#Fig_7_cite|back up to History]]]]
:“THE '''ANCIENT STYLE'''. A predominance of regular forms and right lines is the characteristic feature of the '''ancient style''' of gardening. The value of art, of power, and of wealth, were at once easily and strongly shown by an artificial arrangement of all the materials; an arrangement the more striking, as it differed most widely from nature. And in an age when costly and stately architecture was most abundant, as in the times of the Roman empire, it is natural to suppose, that the symmetry and studied elegance of the palace, or the villa, would be transferred and continued in the surrounding gardens. . .
:“The beauties elicited by the '''ancient style''' of gardening were those of regularity, symmetry, and the display of labored art. These were attained in a merely mechanical manner. . . The geometrical form and lines of the buildings were only extended and carried out in the garden. . . [Fig. 7]
:“The '''ancient style''' of gardening may, however, be introduced with good effect in certain cases. In public squares and gardens, where display, grandeur of effect, and a highly artificial character are desirable, it appears to us the most suitable; and no less so in very small gardens, in which variety and irregularity are out of the question. Where a taste for imitating an old and quaint style of residence exists, the symmetrical and knotted garden would be a proper accompaniment; and pleached [[alley]]s, and sheared trees, would be admired, like old armor or furniture, as curious specimens of '''antique''' taste and custom. . .
[[File:0371.jpg|thumb|Fig. 8, Anonymous, [[Plantation]]s in the '''"Ancient Style'''", A [[Labyrinth]], in [[A. J. Downing]], ''A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening'' (1849), p. 91, fig. 17.]]
:“The beautiful and the [[picturesque]] are the new elements of interest, which, entering into the composition of our gardens and home landscapes, have to refined minds increased a hundred fold the enjoyment derived from this species of rural scenery. Still, there is much to admire in the '''ancient style'''. Its long and majestic [[avenue]]s, the wide-spreading branches interlacing over our heads, and forming long, shadowy aisles, are, themselves alone, among the noblest and most imposing sylvan objects. Even the formal and curiously knotted gardens are interesting, from the pleasing associations which they suggest to mind, as having been the favorite haunts of Shakespeare, Bacon, Spenser, and Milton. They are so inseparably connected, too, in our imaginations, with the quaint architecture of that era, that wherever that style of building is adopted. . . this style of gardening may be considered as highly appropriate, and in excellent keeping with such a country house. . . [Fig. 8]
:“The only situation where this brilliant [white] gravel seems to us perfectly in keeping, is in the highly artificial garden of the '''ancient''' or [[geometric style]], or in the symmetrical [[terrace]] [[flower garden]] adjoining the house. In these instances its striking appearance is in excellent keeping with the expression of all the surrounding objects, and it renders more forcible and striking the highly artificial and artistical character of the scene; and to such situations we would gladly see its use limited.”
Image:1686.jpg|James Smillie after a sketch by A. O. Moore, “Italian Garden and [[Lake]] at Wellesley near Boston,” in [[A. J. Downing]], ''A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening'', 4th ed. (1849), pl. opp. 452.
 
Image:0555a_detail2.jpg|Anonymous, Plat of 117 Broad Street [detail], 1797 . Register Mesne Conveyance, Charleston County, S.C.
 
Image:0555a.jpg|Anonymous, Plat of 117 Broad Street, 1797. Register Mesne Conveyance, Charleston County, S.C.
</gallery>
[[Category: Keywords]]
[[Category: Garden Styles]]
[[Category: Styles]]

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