The Artistic Qualities Of Landscape Composition
The aspects of landscape composition that make it a fine art include those of Unity, Variety, Character, Propriety, and Finish. We discuss each of these elements in turn. We begin with the quality of Unity since a unified approach forms the overall theme. We explore several themes or “styles” including the Natural Style, Architectural, and the Picturesque and how these styles are obtained.
Also reviewed is the quality of Variety and how it supports the major styles. This section is then completed by a discussion of Character, Propriety, and Finish.
- Unity – Unity in any landscape composition means that some one idea shall prevail throughout, and that all details shall be subordinate to it. Some particular style of expression must be determined upon and consistently adhered to; and the chosen style must not be varied except within wide limits of space.”
- Variety – There should be variety with unity. Unity does not demand sameness. There may be unity with variety. The two are not really opposed to each other, though either one would be easier to accomplish could the other be disregarded. Perfect unity with satisfying variety need not be even a compromise; but both tests must always be applied by the gardener.
- Character – Propriety – We might say that character is the personal impress of the designer. Propriety is a universal test. We would often consider an aviary, or a suite of dog kennels inadmissible in a garden because they were inappropriate to the surroundings, even though they might be in themselves beautiful and interesting.
- Finish – In gardening, finish means several things, some of which we may designate here. In the first place, it requires good specimens. All the plants employed must be good of their kind; the minor groups must be good; and the masses must be good.
- The Artistic Qualities Of Landscape Composition – The aspects of landscape composition that make it a fine art include those of Unity, Variety, Character, Propriety, and Finish.
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