Durch den Landschaftsgarten wandeln
A WALK THROUGH A LANDSCAPE GARDEN
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A walk was the chief way of taking in a landscape garden in the late eighteenth century, and it was chiefly for walks that landscape gardens were intended. They were composed to present a series of images, as well as a stage for the stylized movement of visitors. The visitors were spectators and also became actors: they were the living staffage of the landscape scene, as is clear from the instructions of the time and from depictions of movement in the outdoors. A walk was not undertaken with the aim of being alone, but was in essence a social act. The landscape garden changed landscape into real nature and real nature into a scene of human self-awareness by way of socialization. In this context direct experience of the body or corporeality of the individual was applied to an extent corresponding to the programme of landscape gardens. This programme was, regardless of the size of the garden, highly complex, and the overall shaping of the garden emphasized freedom of choice, despite the existence of an ideal or official itinerary of its visitors. The essay takes examples mainly from the garden at Schonhof (Northwestern Bohemia, built in 1780s) as well as from its contemporary descriptions.
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