William Andrews Nesfield (1794-1881) artist and landscape gardener
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Contrary to past opinions William Andrews Nesfield's garden layouts were not solely designedt o provide appropriatea ccompanimentsto the Elizabethana nd Jacobean revival architecture of his brother-in-law Anthony Salvin (1799-1881). Nor were they conceived chiefly to provide his wealthy patrons with a variation on the French seventeenth-centuryparterre-de-broderieU. ndoubtedly,t his device helpedt o forge a sympathetic bond between Nesfield and his patrons, for it had been a symbol of power and statusi n seventeenth-centurFy rancew hen it was associatedw ith the upper echelonso f Frenchs ociety. It thereforer epresentedto the aristocracya nd upper gentry of nineteenthcenturyB ritain, during the time Nesfield was engagedin landscaped esign,a symbol of their continuing power and influence. The above factors were a means to an end for Nesfield, and helped him to become finely established as a successful landscape designer. But the most crucial element to be considered,w hen attemptingt o reach an understandingo f Nesfield's gardend esign philosophy,i s his spacial awarenessw hich demandedth at both the strictly formal areai n the environso f the housea nd the more naturalistic landscapeb eyondb e adapteda nd integrated into a cohesive whole. He did this by assimilating the individual parts through visual assessmentt,r ansferring his findings to his drawing board and then applying these findings to the ground. As an experienced professional landscape painter, skilled in the arts of observation and perspective, he was able to adapt the classical concept of the unity of all the parts for his own use and then incorporate within the two divergent areas of his overall designs the fundamental elements of variety, consistency, simplicity, breadth and repose.
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