The eighteenth-century landscape garden is frequently hailed as being Britain’s greatest contribution to European culture. Its seductively simple formula, made famous by Capability Brown, combined elegance with economic viability, and triumphed over the fashion for French formalism. Its genesis, however, was far from serene.
This course explores how the Georgians’ new love of landscape minimalism mirrored the political, intellectual and stylistic advances of the age, and traces its development through a variety of key sites and their designers. From naked bathing in icy grottos to scandalous liaisons in garden temples set far from the prying eyes of the country house, this is a colourful introduction to the Georgian garden.
Laura Mayer is an independent lecturer and researcher. She holds an MA in Garden History and a PhD on eighteenth-century architecture and landscape design. Laura has worked on conservation projects for the National Trust, taught on academic courses and led groups around some of England’s most famous estates, including Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey. She has also published extensively, most notably on Capability Brown, and Humphry Repton.