The Genius Of The Place
April 22, 2012
In ancient Rome a Genius loci referred to the protective spirit of a place. In the Western world it came to refer to a place’s atmosphere or spirit.
It was Alexander Pope who linked the concept to landscaping. In a letter to Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington, in 1731 Pope wrote:
Consult the genius of the place in all;/That tells the waters or to rise, or fall;/Or helps th’ ambitious hill the heav’ns to scale,/Or scoops in circling theatres the vale;/Calls in the country, catches opening glades,/Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades,/Now breaks, or now directs, th’ intending lines;/Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs.
Happy Earth Day