Sub­lime place

The Washington Times Weekly - - Culture, Etc. -

“Mon­ti­cello, [Thomas Jef­fer­son’s] moun­tain­top ar­chi­tec­tural mas­ter­piece near Charlottesville, Va. [. . .] is the out­ward em­bod­i­ment of this En­light­en­ment ma­gus’s bril­liant mind. [. . .]

“To walk through the house is to feel one­self in a mi­cro­cosm of Jef­fer­son’s con­cep­tion of the uni­verse. [. . .]

“Jef­fer­son built his house on a moun­tain­top so that he could ‘look down into the work­house of na­ture [. . .].’ Such a late-18th-cen­tury taste for the sub­lime didn’t come cheap: Jef­fer­son had to level the moun­tain­top to con­struct his house, and wa­ter, build­ing ma­te­ri­als, and sup­plies were costly and slow to get to the sum­mit. But sit­ting in Mon­ti­cello’s al­ways cool and breezy gar­den pavil­ion and look­ing out over the rolling clouds and Blue Ridge Moun­tains be­low, as Jef­fer­son liked to do, you can see why he took the trou­ble.”

— My­ron Mag­net, writ­ing on “Mon­ti­cello’s Shad­ows,” in the au­tumn is­sue of City Jour­nal

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