Et In Arcadia Ego

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Writer Jonathan Glancey reflects on why Renaissance artists chose picturesque ruins to create a paradise for their nymphs and satyrs, and how Poussin, in the 17th century, used ruins to lend a darker and more mysterious mood to his work.

Sir John Soane's fascination with ruins is evident from the collection in his museum, and shouldn't we, asks Jonathan Glancey, allow a few ruins into our own too well-ordered lives?