William Gilpin, an 18th century English artist, clergyman, schoolmaster and author, helped develop the idea of the picturesque in landscape painting. As artists on both sides of the Atlantic turned their gazes towards the land, a curious belief began to be expressed regarding beauty and nature. Gilpin was among those who believed that the artist had the right to “correct” nature’s imperfections. In his Three Essays (1792) Gilpin declared: “I am so attached to my picturesque rules that if nature gets wrong, I cannot help putting her right.” What are your thoughts on the artist “getting her (nature) right”?
William Gilpin, Penrith Castle
Thomas Doughty, Fanciful Landscape, 1834