In eighteenth-century England, formal neoclassical buildings began to be coupled with landscape settings that expressed a contrasting aesthetic based on chance, intuition, informal ordering, and local accommodation. At the same time, the relationship between art and nature was being reevaluated. The divergence of styles for architecture and landscape posed a critical challenge for eighteenth-century architects and designers. Chief among the strategies used by eighteenth-century practitioners to meet this challenge was the "intermediate structure"-an architectural entity such as hermitage, grotto, or artificial ruin set into the landscape in order to articulate the relationship between art and nature, and between divergent architectural and landscape languages. Alexander Pope and William Kent developed influential versions of the intermediate structure-Pope in his grotto at Twickenham, and Kent in his garden buildings at several country houses. The role of these structures was undermined, however, in the later eighteenth century, when the links between architecture and landscape were further suppressed by Brownian landscaping and by the development of the Picturesque, which sought to conceal human interventions in the landscape. The connection between architecture and landscape as parts of one aesthetic composition was broken, and it has remained so until today.
- Copyright 1991 The Society of Architectural Historians