Monday, April 13, 2020

Biblical Gardens - The Garden of Eden & Creation - Illuminated Manuscripts

Illuminated Manuscript, Bible (part), Creation of the world, and Eve, Walters Manuscript W.805, fol. 6v detail
Illustrated manuscripts and early depictions of landscapes in portrayals of Biblical gardens give us a glimpse of gardens familiar & imagined during the periods the images were created. Gardens are often mentioned in the Bible. In the language of the Hebrews, every place where plants & trees were cultivated with greater care than in the open field, was called a garden. Fruit & shade trees, with aromatic shrubs, sometimes constituted the garden; though roses, lilies, & various gardens were used only for table vegetables, Genesis 2:8-10 15:1-21; 1 Kings 21:2; Ecclesiastes 2:5,6.

Genesis 2:8 “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed...And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it."
Animals & Humans Emerging from the Earth Together; from an illustrated manuscript version of Augustine's City of God, c. 1475 (The Hague, RMMW, 10 A 11, fol. 300v)
Secrets d'histoire naturelle Centre-ouest de la France, vers 1480-1485  Bibliothèque nationale de France, Manuscrits, Français 22971 fol. 15v
Genesis, The Creation of the Animals.  Oxford MS. Douce 135 fol-017v
God Creating the Birds and Animals Vatican Library Collection
French illuminated manuscript, Image du Monde, attributed to Gautier de Metz, portraying God creating animals and birds; Harley 344, folio 1. British Library
 Adam and Eve in The Garden pf Edem Eating the Forbidden Fruit (detail), by Willem Vrelant, early 1460s
The Garden of Eden, Paradise Garden, The Temptation of Adam and Eve (detail) in Concerning the Fates of Illustrious Men and Women, about 1415, Boucicaut Master. J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 63, fol. 3