Hadleigh Castle

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To some extent, the practice of mezzotint mimics Gilpin’s suggestion that the picturesque relies on the reformulation of natural beauty so that it more perfectly mirrors “artificial beauty.” In a note to the reader at the start of the Wye tour, Gilpin establishes this desire, writing that while “we travel for various purposes, the following little work proposes a new object of pursuit; that of not barely examining the face of a country; but of examining it by the rules of picturesque beauty: that of not merely describing; but of adapting the description of natural scenery to the principle of artificial landscape" (Gilpin 1). The idea that the tourist/artist is allowed and expected to alter the features of landscapes in order to produce pictorial harmony—since “[n]ature is always great in design; but unequal in composition" (qtd. in Copley 139)—seems to anticipate Constable and Lucas’s many re-workings of the same landscape for the purpose of achieving different emotional and symbolic resonances.