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. 


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."


Morning Madonna


Master of Bigallo (Italian painter, active 1225-1255 in Florence) Virgin and Child Enthroned c 1225

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.


Friday, May 27, 2016

17C Euro Gardens - Love & Harvesting - "Making Hay"


Juni Hooien, After Crispijn van de Passe (I), Maerten de Vos, c. 1574 - c. 1687


16C Euro Gardens - Garden of Love - A soldier apparently home from the wars


1520 Garden of Love. Soldier embracing a woman in a fenced garden by a wooden bench. They are near an apple tree with birds flying; & another amorous couple is seated underneath a tree, while a dog eats their food.

15C Euro Gardens - Still searching for Love (& roses) in a walled & fenced Garden


Illuminated Maniscripts 1490 [folio 006r] MS. Douce 195 (Le roman de la rose) Robinet Testard


17C Euro Gardens - Frans Hals c 1582-1666 - a couple in a Garden


1622 Frans Hals (Dutch artist, c 1582-1666) Married Couple in a Garden


1622 Frans Hals (Dutch artist, c 1582-1666) Couple in a Garden Detail


17C Euro Gardens - Elderly Musicians Outdoors


Lucas van Leyden (Netherlandish artist, c 1494–1533) Old Man and Woman Musicians


17C Euro Gardens - Love & Music - Peter Rollos (fl 1619-1639)


Peter Rollos (fl 1619-1639), The center of love 1687


17C Euro Gardens - Music & Flowers& a Potential Suitor


1645 After Joachim von Sandrart  Published by Jonas Suyderhoef Dutch - April


16C Euro Gardens - Garden of Love


1520 Fernando de Rojas, 'Ain Hipsche Tragedia von zwaien liebhabenden mentschen ainem Ritter Calixtus und ainer Edlen junckfrawen Melibia genannt', Augsburg Grimm and Wirsung Here lady & gentleman communicate with a little music in a walled garden, as the moon shines down on them.


Madonna attributed to Catherine de Vigri (1413-1463) or St. Catherine of Bologna,



Catherine de'Vigri (Italian artist, 1413-1463) also known as Saint Catherine of Bologna. Mary and Jesus with Fruit

Catherine de'Vigri (1413-1463) was an Italian cloistered nun, & artist. Catherine was born in Bologna, the eldest child of Benvenuta Mammolini and John de’ Vigri, a rich & cultured patrician of Ferrara, a doctor in law & a public lector in Padua, where he carried out diplomatic missions for Nicholas III d’Este, Marquis of Ferrara. With her mother, Catherine moved to Ferrara, when she was about 10 to enter the court of Nicholas III d’Este as lady-in-waiting to Margaret, Nicholas’ illegitimate daughter. Her move coincided with the time that the Marquis was transforming Ferrara into a fine city, summoning artists & scholars from various countries. Because of this emphasis on culture, Catherine was able study music & dancing; she learned to write poetry & literary compositions & to play the viola; she became expert in the arts of miniature-painting & copying; she perfected her knowledge of Latin.

In 1427, when she was 14 years old & after the marriage of Princess Margarita, Catherine decided to leave the court to join a group of young noble women who lived a religious community life. In the convent Catherine served as laundress, dressmaker, breadmaker, & even looked after the animals. Speaking in the third person in her autobiography, she writes that she entered God’s service, “illumined by divine grace... with an upright conscience and great fervour,” attentive to holy prayer by night and by day, striving to acquire all the virtues she saw in others, “not out of envy but the better to please God in whom she had placed all her love.”

She returned to Bologna in 1456, when her superiors & the governors of Bologna requested that she establish & become abbess of a monastery at the Church of Corpus Domini. She went to Bologna with 18 sisters. Catherine served as abbess in Bologna, a position she held until her death at age 49. During her time as abbotess, she was a prolific illustrator of religious scenes, many of which were illuminated. She also devoted time to larger paintings of Jesus, Mary & the saints, & wrote several devotional works as well.


Catherine de'Vigri (Italian artist, 1413-1463) also known as Saint Catherine of Bologna. Fresco painting

In her autobiographical and didactic treatise, The Seven Spiritual Weapons, Catherine offers 7 weapons in the fight against evil: 1. to be careful and diligently strive to do good; 2. to believe that alone we will never be able to do something truly good; 3. to trust in God and, for love of him, never to fear in the battle against evil, either in the world or within ourselves; 4. to meditate often on the events and words of the life of Jesus, and especially on his Passion and his death; 5. to remember that we must die; 6. to focus our minds firmly on memory of the goods of Heaven; 7. to be familiar with Sacred Scripture, always cherishing it in our hearts so that it may give direction to all our thoughts and all our actions.

When she died at the age of 49, Catherine was buried without a coffin. After 18 days of alleged graveside miracles, her incorrupt body was exhumed & relocated to the chapel of the Poor Clares in Bologna, where it remains on display, dressed in her religious habit & seated upright behind glass. Pope Benedict XIII canonized her in 1712. Catherine de Vigri (1413-1463) is now more commonly known as St. Catherine of Bologna, the patron saint of painters. Some of her art & manuscripts survive, including a depiction of St. Ursula from 1456, now in the Galleria Academica in Venice.


Catherine de'Vigri (Italian artist, 1413-1463) also known as Saint Catherine of Bologna. The Incorrupt Body Of Saint Catherine behind glass at The Corpus Domini Church Of Bologna, Italy.

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.