“David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon." (2Sam 11:2, King James Version)
Bathsheba 1498 Bathing in a Court Garden, from the Hours of Louis XII, 1498–99, Jean Bourdichon. J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 79, recto
Bathsheba 1400s Printed Bible, Nuremberg.
In the earlier Medieval garden, a Hortus Conclusus was an enclosed garden representing or containing a religious allegory. Biblical gardens often were surrounded by hedges of thorns (Isaiah 5:5) or by walls of stone (Proverbs 24:31). "Watch-towers" or "lodges" were also built in them (Isaiah 1:8; Mark 12:1), in which their keepers sat. Because of their seclusion, gardens in the Bible frequently were used as places for secret prayer and communion with God (Genesis 24:63; Matthew 26:30-36; John 1:48; 18:1, 2).
Bathsheba 1508 bathing in a garden and a male messenger, from the Book of Hours of the Vasselin Family, Harley Manuscript. 2969, f. 91, British Library.
In the Bible, gardens and groves were often furnished with pavilions, seats, etc., and were used for banqueting and mirth, Isaiah 51:3; for retirement and meditation, & John 18:1; for devotional purposes, Matthew 26:30 John 1:48 18:1,2.
Bathsheba 1513 Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) Illustration for The Knights of Turnbull
Bathsheba, surrounded by her servants, portrayed bathing in a formal, geometric garden with grottos, fountains, and peacocks in background from the 'Icones Biblicae' published by Mathias Merian in Frankfurt before 1630.