Tuesday, May 31, 2016

14C Tension between The Garden of Love & The Hortus Conclusus


Charles V enthroned between Spiritual Power (Hortus Conclusus) and Temporal Power (The Garden of Love), Le Songe du Vergier (British Library Royal 19 C IV, fol. 1v), 1378

Charles V (Charles the Wise), 1338–80, was Dauphin & King of France (1364–80). Son of King John II, Charles served as Regent during his father's captivity in England (1356–60, 1364), Charles dealt successfully with the Jacquerie revolt; with the intrigues of King Charles II of Navarre; & with the movement headed by Étienne Marcel, who armed Paris against the dauphin. Becoming king in 1364, Charles stabilized the coinage & took steps to rid France of the companies of écorcheurs, marauding bands of discharged soldiers. Aided by his great general, Bertrand Du Guesclin, he almost succeeded in driving the English from France. Charles & his ministers, the Marmousets, strengthened the royal authority, introduced a standing army, built a powerful navy, & instituted reforms that put fiscal authority more firmly in the hands of the crown. A patron of the arts & of learning, he established the royal library & interested himself in the embellishment of the Louvre & in the construction of the palace at Saint-Pol. However, his love of pomp & his lack of economy put a severe economic burden on the country.


18C Euro Gardens - Austrian Gardens & Parklands


Austrian painter Franz Christoph Janneck (1703-1761) A Palace Garden With Elegant Figures Feasting And Making Merry


 Austrian painter Franz Christoph Janneck (1703-1761)  Fêtes Champêtres in a Park


 Austrian painter Franz Christoph Janneck (1703-1761) Elegant Scene in a Park with Palace Architecture, 1735


 Austrian painter Franz Christoph Janneck (1703-1761) Village Celebration


 Austrian painter Franz Christoph Janneck (1703-1761)  An Elegant Company Merrymaking in a Wooded Parkland


 Austrian painter Franz Christoph Janneck (1703-1761)  Lunch on the Grass in a Park


 Austrian painter Franz Christoph Janneck (1703-1761) Village Celebration 


Austrian painter Franz Christoph Janneck (1703-1761) An Elegant Company near a Garden Fountain


Morning Madonna


Unknown Master, Bohemian  The Madonna of St Vitus Cathedral in Prague 1420

In this blog, I try to begin each day with a painting of the Madonna & Child. It centers me; connects me to the past; & encourages me to post some of the religious paintings which were a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the changing contemporary tastes of elite private clients.


Monday, May 30, 2016

15C Euro Gardens - Hortus Conclusus & The Virgin Mary


1410 The Garden of Eden, a Hortus Conclusus Garden. Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt

Hortus conclusus is a Latin term, meaning literally "enclosed garden." The secluded garden, or ‘hortus conclusus’, was associated with the Virgin Mary usually in a monastery garden. Many images of medieval gardens are allegorical or metaphorical, rather than realistic representations of specific medieval gardens.

Here the grass treated as a flowery mead planted with low growing wild flowers, sweet scented flowers, & more practical herbs. Birds share the space & fill the air with their songs.

In this fantasy religious garden surrounded by a wall, the Virgin, the Child Jesus, 3 holy women & 3 holy men have met. This enclosed garden (hortus conclusus) is the symbol of the Virgin's purity, with its peaceful mood, its protected area, its fruits & flowers. The serpentine entwining of the 2 trunks of the trees on the left also reminds the viewer of the biblical Garden of Eden, the scene of the happy life of the 1st human couple before the temptation of Eve. 

The image of the hortus conclusus is intended to evoke the ancient, original, pre-sin harmony of the universe, of divine, human, animal & vegetable worlds. The Satan-monkey is squatting helplessly at St Michael's feet, while St George's dragon, very young & a little wimpy, seems to be basking in the sun, submissively turning his belly upwards. The crowns are golden garlands of flowers, & the left arm of St Cecilia holds a psaltery.


Queen Elizabeth I - Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire was "Built to woo the Virgin Queen" after the owner's 1st wife died after apparently falling down the stairs



Kenilworth Castle dated 1620 by Unknown Artist

David Wilkes for the Daily Mail, London, 4 September 2014

Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire was "Built to woo the Virgin Queen... There is no doubt the views from the top of the 100ft tower, which boasts what were then the biggest glass windows in a secular building in Tudor England, are impressive enough to make you go weak at the knees.

"Whether they also made Queen Elizabeth I swoon into the arms of her favourite Robert Dudley in the spectacular quarters he created for her exclusive use at Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire remains a mystery as intriguing as the rest of their relationship.


"There was, believes the Head Curator at the castle, Dr. Jeremy Ashbee, an antechamber between the two sets of rooms where Dudley, the handsome and flamboyant Earl of Leicester, could well have ‘lurked’ until Elizabeth was free of other company before popping in to see her alone. From there it is just a few short steps into the regal boudoir, where no one was normally allowed except the Queen and her ladies in waiting.


"We do not know whether their relationship was ever physical,’ said Dr Ashbee. ‘But they had known each since childhood, shared passions for riding and dancing, and it was no secret in Court circles that he was a suitor for the queen’s hand in marriage. Indeed, Dudley built the tower expressly to win her hand...’


"Their relationship - portrayed by Cate Blanchett and Joseph Fiennes in the 1998 film Elizabeth - was much talked about after Dudley’s first wife Amy broke her neck and died after apparently falling down the stairs at Cumnor Place, Berkshire, in 1560.


"Debate raged over whether Dudley had got rid of her as an obstacle to his relationship with the monarch. Dudley, who was also the Master of the Horse, overseeing all the queen’s equestrian needs for travel and hunting, was granted Kenilworth Castle by Elizabeth I in 1563.


"At a cost equivalent to tens of millions of pounds in today’s money, he began building the tower for her there in 1570. Elizabeth stayed at the castle 4 times during her summer ‘progresses’ away from London. Her last visit in 1575 caused particularly intense speculation about their relationship as she stayed for 19 days from July 9 to 27 - the longest she ever stayed at any courtier’s house.


"Dr Ashbee said: ‘We know from documentary evidence when the tower was built was right in the middle of the period when Dudley was getting her to come there. People referred to it as ‘the Queen’s lodge.' ‘She was 41 and he 42 during the 1575 visit and it has long been thought this was his last throw of the dice to get her to marry him. He even commissioned portraits of the queen and himself specifically for that visit, which might have been intended to hang in the dancing chamber above her bedroom.,,’


"Dudley failed, however, to win the queen’s hand, his chances having probably not been helped by him fathering an illegitimate son by Lady Sheffield in 1574. Elizabeth never returned to Kenilworth and he married Lettice Knollys, Countess of Essex, in 1578.


"But the queen evidently retained an affection for him and kept a letter he wrote to her shortly before his death in 1588. Its contents were mere pleasantries, but she wrote on the back ‘His last letter’ and kept it in a casket of treasured possessions by her bed until her death in 1603."



16C British Gardens - Letter describing the Gardens at Kenilworth Castle during Queen Elizabeth's 1575 visit


Kenilworth Castle from the south in 1649, adapted from the engraving by Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677) 

Kenilworth Castle is located in Warwickshire, England. Constructed from Norman through Tudor times, Kenilworth was the subject of the 6-month-long Siege of Kenilworth in 1266. The 16C Earl of Leicester expanded the castle, constructing new Tudor buildings & exploiting the medieval heritage of Kenilworth to produce a fashionable Renaissance palace. Kenilworth was the scene of the Earl of Leicester's lavish reception of Elizabeth I in 1575.

Robert, Earl of Leicester hoped to ensure that Kenilworth would attract the interest of Elizabeth during her regular tours around the country. Leicester's work was apparent during the queen's last visit in 1575. Leicester was keen to impress Elizabeth in a final attempt to convince her to marry him, & no expense was spared. Elizabeth brought an entourage of 31 barons & 400 staff for the royal visit that lasted an exceptional 19 days; 20 horsemen a day arrived at the castle to communicate royal messages. Leicester entertained the Queen & much of the neighboring region with pageants, fireworks, bear baiting, mystery plays, hunting & lavish banquets. The event was considered a huge success & formed the longest stay at such a property during any of Elizabeth's tours, yet the queen did not decide to marry Leicester.

One of the participants in the festivities wrote a letter to a friend during the Queen's visit. "A letter wherein part of the entertainment unto the Queen's Majesty at Killingworth Castle in Warwickshire in this summer's progress, 1575, is signified;" the author (probably Robert Langham) provides a detailed description of the castle's gardens

"Unto my good friend, Master Humfrey Martin, Mercer...

"Unto this, his Honour's exquisite appointment of a beautiful garden, an acre or more of quantity, that lieth on the north there. Wherein hard all along the castle wall is reared a pleasant terrace of a ten foot high & a twelve broad, even underfoot & fresh of fine grass, as is also the side thereof toward the garden, in which, by sundry equal distances, with obelisks, spheres & white bears all of stone upon their curious bases by good show were set; to these, two fine arbours redolent by sweet trees & flowers, at each end one. The garden plot under that with fair alleys green by grass, even voided from the borders a both sides & some (for change) with sand, not light or too soft, or soily by dust, but smooth & firm, pleasant to walk on as a sea-shore when the water is avaled. Then, much gracified by due proportion of 4 even quarters, in the midst of each upon a base a 2 foot square & high, seemly bordered of itself, a square pilaster rising pyramidally of a 15 foot high, symmetrically pierced through from a foot beneath until a 2 foot from the top, whereupon, for a capital, an orb of a 10 inches thick; every of these (with his base) from the ground to the top of one whole piece, hewn out of hard porphyry & with great art & heed (thinks me) thither conveyed & there erected.

"Where further also by great cast & cost the sweetness of savour on all sides, made so respirant from the redolent plants & fragrant herbs & flowers, in form, colour & quantity so deliciously variant, & fruit-trees bedecked with their apples, pears & ripe cherries...

"In the centre (as it were) of this goodly garden was there placed a very fair fountain, cast into an 8-square, reared a 4 foot high, from the midst whereof a column up set in shape of 2 atlantes joined together a back-half, the tone looking east, tother west, with their hands upholding a fair-formed bowl of a 3 foot over, from whence sundry fine pipes did lively distil continual streams into the receipt of the fountain, maintained still 2 foot deep by the same fresh-falling water, wherein pleasantly playing to & fro & round about carp, tench, bream & -- for variety -- perch & eel, fish fair-liking all & large. In the top, the ragged staff which, with the bowl, the pillar, & 8 sides beneath were all hewn out of rich & hard white marble. A one side, Neptune with his tridental fuskin triumphing in his throne, trailed into the deep by his marine horses. On another, Thetis in her chariot drawn by her dolphins. Then Triton by his fishes. Here Proteus herding his sea-bulls. There Doris & her daughters solacing a sea & sands. The waves surging with froth & foam, intermingled in place with whales, whirlpools, sturgeons, tunnys, conches & whelks, all engraven by exquisite device & skill, so as I may think this not much inferior unto Phoebus' gates which (Ovid says) -- & peradventure a pattern to this -- that Vulcan himself did cut, whereof such was the excellency of art that the work in value surmounted the stuff, & yet were the gates all of clean massy silver. Here were things, ye see, might inflame any mind to long after looking, but whoso was found so hot in desire, with the wrest of a cock was sure of a cooler, water spurting upward with such vehemency as they should by & by be moistened from top to toe. The hes to some laughing, but the shes to more sport. This sometime was occupied to very good pastime.

"A garden then so appointed as wherein aloft upon sweet-shadowed walk of terrace in heat of summer to feel the pleasant whisking wind above or delectable coolness of the fountain spring beneath; to taste of delicious strawberries, cherries & other fruits even from their stalks; to smell such fragrancy of sweet odors breathing from the plants, herbs & flowers; to hear such natural melodious music & tunes of birds. To have in eye, for mirth sometime these underspringing streams; then, the woods, the waters (for both pool & chase were hard at hand in sight), the deer, the people (that out of the east arbour, in the base-court, also at hand in view), the fruit-trees, the plants, the herbs, the flowers, the change in colors, the birds flittering, the fountain streaming, the fish swimming, all in such delectable variety, order & dignity whereby at one moment, in one place, at hand without travel, to have so full fruition of so many God's blessings, by entire delight unto all senses -- if all can take -- at once; for etymon of the word worthy to be called paradise, & though not so goodly as Paradise for want of the fair rivers, yet better a great deal by the lack of so unhappy a tree. Argument most certain of a right noble mind, that in this sort could have thus all contrived." 


Morning Madonna


Unknown Master, German (active 1400-25 in Bavaria). Virgin and Child

In this blog, I try to begin each day with a painting of the Madonna & Child. It centers me; connects me to the past; & encourages me to post some of the religious paintings which were a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the changing contemporary tastes of elite private clients.



Sunday, May 29, 2016

17C Euro Garden Fountains - Arcady & The Garden of Love


Style of Caspar Netscher (Dutch artist, 1639-1684) Portrait of a Lady

In these paintings eligible daughters & worthy wives are depicted in the mythical land of Arcady, a popular allegory of the period. At the center of Arcady is a Garden of Love, where a figure of Cupid sits atop a fountain.  A young woman posed in this setting is usually placing her hand in the water...this is a motif makes an allusion to her potential as a worthy wife and mother, recalling Proverbs, chapter 5, verse 18 "Let thy fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of thy youth." 

1661 Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) A Mother and her two Children by a Fountain



1664 Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) Young Lady by a Fountain



Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) Young Lady by a Fountain (For those who did not like a blond, serious sitter, Maes apparently painted this more cheerful brunette.)


Barend van Kalraet (Dutch artist, 1649-1737) Lady by a Fountain with a Parott



Barent Graat (Dutch artist, 1628-1709) Portrait of a Girl Cleaning Cherries in a Fountain



Brabant school, the end of the 17C. Three year old girl at a fountain.



Caspar Netscher (Dutch artist, 1639-1684) Portrait of a Lady with a Fountain in a Garden Beyond



Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) Catherine Peels leans on a garden fountain.



Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) Young Girl stops at a garden fountain as her dog drinks the water below.



Nicolaes Maes (Dutch artist, 1634-1693) Young Lady's arm rests on a garden fountain


Style of Pieter Nason (Dutch artist, c 1612-1688-90) Portrait of Anna Catharina van Heemskerck (1676-1723) when young, seated by a fountain on a draped garden terrace


17C British Garden Fountains - Arcady & The Garden of Love


John Michael Wright (1617-1694) Miss Butterworth of Belfield Hall

In these paintings eligible daughters  & worthy wives are depicted in the mythical land of Arcady, a popular allegory of the period. At the center of Arcady is a Garden of Love, where a figure of Cupid often sits atop a fountain.  A young woman posed in this setting is usually placing her hand in the water...this is a motif makes an allusion to her potential as a worthy wife and mother, recalling Proverbs, chapter 5, verse 18 "Let thy fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of thy youth." 

1661 Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Anne Hyde, Duchess of York, 1637 - 1671 lets the waters of a cupid garden fountain pour over her hand. She eventually became the 1st wife of James VII and II.




 Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Portrait of a Lady



Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Portrait Of Diana, Countess Of Ailesbury


Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Portrait of Lady Elizabeth Egerton (1653-1709) sitting next to a garden fountain somehow adorned with drapery



Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Unknown Lady at a garden fountain



1671-80 Style of Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) The Duchess of Lauderdale


1650 Attr David Des Granges (British artist, in 1611-c.1671) Portrait of Elizabeth, Countess of Carnarvon (1633-1678)



Godfrey Kneller (German-born English artist, 1646-1723) Susannah Anlaby (d.1715), Mrs Foote Onslow




 1715 Lady Henrietta Crofts, Duchess of Bolton by a fountain



Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) A Lady dips her arm in the garden fountain while a dog and child stand nearby


Morning Madonna


Unknown Master, Flemish (late 15th century in Southern Netherlands) Virgin and Child with St Anne. Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp

In this blog, I try to begin each day with a painting of the Madonna & Child. It centers me; connects me to the past; & encourages me to post some of the religious paintings which were a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the changing contemporary tastes of elite private clients.


Saturday, May 28, 2016

16C Euro Gardens - An amazing Island Garden Maze - Crispin de Passe 1565-1637


Crispin de Passe 1565-1637 - Theseus And The Minotaur


17C Euro Gardens - Enghien - Maze or Labyrinth


Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) The Maze or Labyrinth at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault. By this period, a labyrinth usually had a single through-route with twists & turns but without branches, while a maze was designed as a confusing pathway with many branches, choices of path & dead-ends. A labyrinth was not designed to be difficult to navigate with only one path. A maze was a tour puzzle & could be designed with various levels of difficulty & complexity. A traditional labyrinth usually had only one entrance which was also the exit. There was just one path from the entrance to the center. A maze may have been planned with a variety of entry & exit points. Some labyrinths have a spiritual significance, signifying life's complex, unexpected, & long path to reach God.


17C Euro Gardens - Enghien - Orchards, Vegetable & Spice Gardens


Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) The Orchard, Vegetable, & Spice Gardens at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault. The most practical component of gardens produced food.  Orchard, vegetable, & spice gardens formed an integral part of Enghien park estate. These garden segments were separated by formal, decorative high green hedges & were built on both sides of the entrance ways to the park. 


17C Euro Gardens - Enghien - Italian-Style Island Garden


Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) The Italian Style Island Garden at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault. The grand entrance to the Italian-style island garden. Visitors are stepping onto the island from a small boat. 


18C British Gardens - Not exactly a garden Orangerie...


I am always scouring images to find garden designs & components.  Today I came upon this engraving which seems to have little to do with a formal garden, although it does purport to be about an Orangerie as well as the "fatigues of planting."


The Orangerie; - or - the Dutch Cupid reposing after the fatigues of Planting  James Gillray, 1756-1815, engraver, Published by Hannah Humphrey, London, 1796

This British cartoon seems to be a commentary about William V, Prince of Orange, 1748-1806, who began to rule in 1766. The position of the Dutch during the American Revolution was one of neutrality; however, William V actually lead the pro-British faction within the government.  The French, led by General Charles Pichegru, ended William's reign in January 1795, when they invaded the Netherlands.  In 1795, William V fled the Netherlands for the safety of England.  James Gillray (British artist & engraver, 1756-1815) caricatured William's reported dalliances during his English exile, depicting him as an indolent Cupid with bags of money, surrounded by pregnant lovers. Here an apparently exhausted William V, Prince of Orange, rests reclining on a garden platform of grass & flowers while depending on a bag of money marked 24,000,000 ducats to maintain his position. In the foreground are a number of orange plants in pots with each orange bearing something of a genetic likeness of the prince. In the background are many seriously pregnant women, about to deliver their little orange plants,  including a milkmaid, a fishmonger, a house maid, & several farm women.


Johann Friedrich August Tischbein (1750-1812) William V, Prince of Orange-Nassau


17C Euro Gardens - Enghien - Clipped hedges & Orange trees


Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) Hedges clipped to form partitions or screens at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault. the hedges have been clipped to form screens, foliage tunnels, & an obelisk. The mature orange trees in the foreground are laden with fruit which is being picked, & a small tree is being ceremoniously presented to a lady & her entourage.


17C Euro Gardens - Enghien - Greek Mount of Parnassus



Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) a model Greek Mountain of Parnassus at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault. This parkcontained a model of the Greek Mountain of Parnassus from antiquity dedicated to Apollo and the Muses, which was the traditional home of poetry & music. Deer are being hunted at the foot of this 'mountain.'


17C Euro Gardens - Enghien - Grotto Fountain


Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) The Grotto Fountain at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault. With this grotto fountain, the garden architect tried to invoke an imaginary, yet natural, world of stones, shells, & water. Grottos were an attempt to imitate nature & were linked with classical ideas about the natural world, art, & love.


17C Euro Gardens - Enghien - Orangerie


Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) The Organgerie at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault

Orangeries 1st first began to appear as an element of landscape design in the Renaissance gardens of Italy as large panels of protective glass began to be manufactured there. Soon, orangeries became a staple of the Dutch baroque gardens (often built in glass-enclosed hot-houses or warmed with stove fires to protect against the harshness of Northern European winters) & often were associated with the legendary gardens of the Hesperides, where the Greek hero Hercules received the golden apples as reward for his virtues. Here a fountain displaysthe Three Graces. Like Hercules, the Graces were the illegitimate children of Zeus, the King of the Gods. While Hercules epitomised strength, the Graces - Euphrosyne, Aglaea and Thalia - were represented beauty, grace & wisdom.


17C Euro Gardens - Introduction to Dutch Baroque Gardens - Enghien



Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) Across the Reservoir to the Garden Gates at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault

The famous Park of Enghien (in the Wallonian province of Henaut - to its south lies the French Nord region, within Belgium, it borders on the Flemish provinces of West Flanders, East Flanders, Flemish Brabant, & the Walloon provinces of Walloon Brabant & Namur.) dates back to the 15C, when Pierre de Luxembourg transformed the forests ajacent to his chateau into a park. Two hundred years later, in the year 1607, chateau & park were sold by the then owner Henry IV (1553-1610) to a noble family named Arenberg.


Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) An Avenue or Mall of Clipped Hedges at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault

In the 15C, Pierre de Luxembourg had laid out the boundaries of a park in the forest surrounding his small castle in Enghien (Anguien), near Brussels in Belgium. By the time the estate had been acquired by the aristocratic Arenberg family, the park already contained jousting fields, a menagerie, game reserves, flower gardens, & irrigation systems.


Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) Fountain surrounded by clipped green hedges at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault

A transitional Renaissance-Baroque garden at Enghien evolved during the 1620s-1650s, guided by the elaborate landscape & architectural design choices of Le Père Charles de Bruxelles (Arenberg family member & architect). They combined French & Italian influences. Elements were grouped around a French style central axis. They included formal parterres adorned with classical statuary, tree-lined avenues, an orangery, a large Italian-style viewing mound, a grand pavilion on an island surrounded by imitation bastions, an ornate sculptured fountain in the middle of a reservoir, a small terraced garden on an Italian-style artificial island, & a series of more traditional European gardens surrounded by hedged tunnels.


Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) Main Entrance to the Garden Park at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault

In the British Library introduction to Dutch Baroque Gardens, the curators write, "The seventeenth century saw the greatest flowering of Dutch civilisation, not least in the field of printed maps & views. Professional artists, called afsetters, were employed to colour them. They had ideal opportunities to display their skills with these prints, some of which were engraved by...Romeyn de Hooghe (1645-1708). (The etched engravings were produced in about 1680, commissioned from Romeyn de Hooghe by the Amsterdam map dealer & publisher, Nicolaes Visscher II.)


Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) Pavilion at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault

"The cost of employing de Hooghe & the afsetters was felt to be justified for the gardens since they too were an important aspect of Dutch baroque culture. Though inspired by French & ultimately Italian models, the Dutch took advantage of their climate & landscape to amend the foreign models. Building on their own experience of land reclamation & canal-making, they disciplined & improved on nature. They made plentiful use of water, by way of ponds, canals & moats. Using hedges, often cut into spectacular shapes, they created a series of outdoor green "rooms" or "cabinets", palaces, theatres & stage sets. Unlike the prevailing, unadorned green of Italian formal gardens, the Dutch created beds or parterres filled with the vivid colours & the beautiful scents of flowers, sometimes supplemented with coloured stones. Unlike their French counterparts, Dutch gardens fitted into their landscapes & did not dominate them.


Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) The Allees at the Grand Pavilion at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault

"They made plentiful use of water, by way of ponds, canals & moats. Using hedges, often cut into spectacular shapes, they created a series of outdoor green 'rooms' or 'cabinets,' palaces, theatres & stage sets. Unlike the prevailing, unadorned green of Italian formal gardens, the Dutch created beds or parterres filled with the vivid colours & the beautiful scents of flowers, sometimes supplemented with coloured stones. Unlike their French counterparts, Dutch gardens fitted into their landscapes & did not dominate them.

Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) The Flower Gardens at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault

"The design of the gardens embraced sophisticated intellectual allegories deriving from classical legends & philosophy & they were created in accordance with the rules of architecture & logic. As well as pleasing the eyes, the gardens were also intended to appeal to the mind, their designs symbolising the earthly paradise & being intended to impart moral & philosophical lessons to the select few who understood them. Political often co-existed with philosophical symbolism, & many Dutch gardens were platforms for political propaganda that was all the more effective for being relatively subtle."