French Landscape Garden

French Landscape Garden

French Landscape Garden

The French formal garden was popular in France for over a century, but as England developed a more casual landscape garden, the French quickly adapted their own landscape styles to more closely mimic and idealized nature rather than a forced containment of the natural elements. The closely edged and cropped symmetry of the French formal garden fell out of favor and the winding paths and lush greenery of the French landscape garden became immensely popular in the late 18th century.

Inside the French Landscape Garden

Romantic painting and idealized landscapes became the basis for the French landscape garden. Paintings by Hubert Robert and Claude Lorrain are credited with the inspiration for the French landscape garden. Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau was important part in the development of the French landscape theories as well.

Rousseau’s philosophy that the “nobility of nature” should not only be respected but revered was the foundation for the newer style of French landscape gardens. Inside the ideal landscape garden, Rousseau described a place where people could be true to themselves and plants would be “set free” from the bounds of the formal styles.

Building a French Landscape Garden

The gardens that were inspired by painting and Rousseau’s description took form like careful depictions of art. The gardens carefully included lakes, ponds and winding streams. Pathways wound through the different elements of the garden and all elements were perfectly in tune with each other.

The French landscape gardens also included several features of architecture and style to add interest and eye-catching appeal to the landscapes. Elements inside the garden were inspired by virtually every other culture. Inside the French landscape you might find rustic cottages, models of Egyptian pyramids, Greek or Roman ruins and temples as well as Asian influences such as pagodas.

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