There is, perhaps, no better 18th-century literary source for understanding the intention behind the design and construction of early-18th-century English landscape garden buildings than the theory of Robert Morris. In this article Morris's writings on "situation" are examined as they relate to and clarify the design and siting of buildings in country settings and landscape gardens. Although writers such as Wittkower and Lovejoy found neoclassical buildings and informal gardens to be formal opposites, Morris conceived them to be interrelated and reciprocal manifestations of what writers before and after him called the "genius of the place." The buildings in Lord Burlington's garden at Chiswick and Alexander Pope's garden at Twickenham predate Morris's writings, but they can be seen to exemplify the principles he elaborated. Although Morris's interpretation of "situation" differed greatly from earlier theories of the "site" of the building, it is an indication of his desire to preserve the substance-if not the form-of the classical tradition.
- Copyright 1985 The Society of Architectural Historians