You know I've been couped up too much inside when I begin studying sacred geometry again.
The landscape garden was conceived in
Englandbetween 1710 and 1730—that is, during the period of the European Enlightenment, which coincides with the role of Freemasonry in Englandand Europe. Many landlords and intellectuals of the eighteenth century were freemasons. Among them were famous people of the period. The writer Alexander Pope, Edward Harley, the Earl of Chesterfield, James Addison, Richard Steele, Jonathan Swift, James Thomson, Lord Burlington, Lord Cobham, William Stuckley, Lord Montague, and Voltair. It is at this point in its history that Freemasonry develops as a focus for intellectuals, politicians, the gentry, artists and architects, and fosters a continuous exchange of ideas, aesthetic values and beliefs between English and European intellectuals. Freemasons believed in virtue, progress, equality, and they contributed to the ideology for the late eighteenth century democratic revolutions.
These Enlightenment ideals (tolerance, equality, universalism, civic duty, natural religion, and morality) were also reflected in the use of iconography and design in the early English landscape garden. During that time the intellectuals who belonged to or had links with this secret society were also responsible for the developments in the arts including landscape architecture, so it is important to understand the relationship between Freemasonry and the early 18th century English landscape garden. Freemasonry carried mystical overtones and origins dating back to the Middle Ages. Medieval stonemasons were called "freemasons" since they were not bound to a guild in any specific city but were forced to wander from place to place where churches were erected. Thus the design principles of the freemasons spread far and wide across Europe and intoTwo common elements of these works on Masonic history are the reference to God as the Great Architect of the Universe and the definition of the seven liberal arts which are grammar, dialectic, rhetoric, arithmetic, astronomy, harmony and geometry, with a heavy emphasis on geometry, which was considered to be the source of knowledge, an art which had the potential to re-create the Divine in building.
I love that recreating the divine stuff! I also love the words virtue, progress, equality, tolerance, universalism, civic duty, natural religion, and morality. I think I will meditate on these as I putter and paint and practice the art of re creating the divine.