On Which the Eye Settles
The Picturesque movement that became fashionable in England and on Continental Europe during the latter part of the eighteenth and nineteenth century was something of a reaction against the much stricter principals employed within Neoclassicism—formality, proportion and a general sense of orderliness.

Picturesque meant exactly that—looking like something that might have originated in a “picture”.  This included landscape that might have been manipulated to look better, more pleasing to the eye and, of all things, might have included a ruin.  These were actually built to look like real ruins and used as compositional components in a landscape.

Sometimes called a folly—from the French word folie meaning “foolishness”—they were placed so as to enhance a landscape or vista and functioned as something rather romantic.

Although there is a slight air of romantic sentimentality about this ruined house standing close to the shore of the western coast of the Noto Peninsula, it is a long way from being a “folly”.  If anything it is a prop in a tragedy played out in real time, and simply one of the realities of life.

Inevitably it is something on which the eye settles.  Something about which we begin to imagine what might have happened to the family that lived in what must have been a house or real character and a home full of warmth and vitality.  Although a ruin, it is in the strangest of ways still picturesque.

Bill Tingey Photo © Copyright

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