In Georgian England, new ideas, aesthetic thought, and political persuasion influenced the formal style for gardens. Largely as a consequence of the Grand Tourists’ experience of the Italian countryside, a visual philosophy emerged from the poet and the painter and defined garden aesthetics with a return to “Nature.” Today the English landscape is a major defining characteristic of the country.
With large, sweeping expanses of lush green fields, groupings of trees, winding paths, and serpentine-shaped water, the English landscape appears as an ideal form of nature; it is, however, an expertly crafted construct. Countless hours of moving and reconstructing vast volumes of earth, water, and trees demonstrate what can be achieved when combined with careful planning, design, and an eye toward nature. Moving Earth explores the creation of the English landscape and the pioneering work of “Capability” Brown and Humphry Repton.
Moving Earth showcases the extent and range of materials available in the collections of Yale University for research, with a focus on collections from the Yale Center for British Art, including the Reference Library and Archives, and reproductions from the Rare Books and Manuscripts, Prints and Drawings, and Paintings collections. The exhibition demonstrates the depth and scope to which these concepts, ideas, and topics can be examined.