Stowe: The Panoramic Composition

...Grenville switched to the panoramic scale of landscape architecture and attempted to integrate the garden visually into the natural landscape.

The Corinthian Arch, originally intended for the Grecian Valley, was erected on the hill at New Inn Farm, thereby extending the principal axis as far as the horizon. The Lake Pavilions and the Corinthian Arch now formed a triangle from the lowest point of Eleven Acre Lake to the highest point of the facing ridge.

The earlier architectonic garden, with its highly defined boundaries, was transformed into a panoramic composition in which the foreground, the middle section and the backdrop were drawn together in a new dynamic balance with each other.

The temple dominated Elysian Fields and formed the counterpart to the Rotunda in Home Park. This composition had the special appeal of a hybrid: it was orderly and fanciful, harmonious, and asymmetric, all at the same time. The topographic matrix gradually lost its importance. The Temple

of Ancient Virtue and the Temple of British Worthies ‘escaped’ the matrix and were the initial impetus for a picturesque organisation of the garden spaces.