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John Dixon Hunt

Lordship of the Feet: Toward a Poetics of Movement in the Garden
John Dixon Hunt

My main title is taken from Henry Wotton’s Elements of Architecture (1624), where he loosely links movement with sight. In pursuit of a more elaborate understanding of that connection, I first distinguish three kinds of movement — processional or ritual, strolls, rambles — and link them with the designed terrain that best promotes each of them. I then consider gardens that have been designed to accommodate more than one mode of movement, those that have been re-designed to facilitate different ones and those that have been hospitable to different modes at different periods. The principal sites treated are Versailles, Chiswick, Stowe, Rousham, Moulin-Joli, and Hafod, each of which has related texts, such as those by Mme de Scudéry, William Gilpin, Claude-Henri Watelet, or George Cumberland, as well as a corpus of visual evidence. The discussion of this taxonomy of movement in turn allows me both to consider the different contribution to these analyses of verbal and visual evidence and to propose a fresh garden historiography dictated by this discrimination of movements.

John Dixon Hunt is professor and chair of landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. He was formerly director of Studies in Landscape Architecture at Dumbarton Oaks and academic advisor to the Oak Spring Garden Library. Author, most recently, of Greater Perfections: The Practice of Garden Theory (2000), he is finishing a volume on the Picturesque Garden in Europe for the Thames & Hudson World of Art series and preparing with Emily Cooperman A Picturesque Primer. Series editor of the Penn Studies in Landscape Architescture and founding editor of Studies in the History of Gardens, he has published widely in the history and theory of garden making and garden use.

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