Mirrors of infinity: the French formal garden and 17th-century metaphysics

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Princeton Architectural Press, 1995 - Architecture - 111 pages
From the Japanese Zen Garden to Andr Le Notre's Versailles, the history of landscape reveals that every garden embodies a philosophy. Focusing on the metaphysics, aesthetics, and theology of the seventeenth century, Allen Weiss's analysis offers new insight into the major gardens of this period: Vaux-le-Vicomte, Chantilly, and Versailles. From the Meditations of Descartes and Pascal's Penss, to the intrigues of court politics, Weiss reveals how the structure of these gardens reflects-sometimes literally-the power of Louis XIV, the relationship between God, King, sun, and infinity, and the new science of optics. Weiss's sophisticated yet highly readable text combines contemporary theory with a careful historical reading. He gives us a richer understanding of gardens than allowed in more traditional formal and stylistic analyses.

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Contents

Gardens of the Imagination
9
Baroque Reflections Neoclassic Inflections
21
Anamorphosis Abscondita
32
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Allen S. Weiss is the author of several books, including The Aesthetics of Excess, Shattered Forms, Perverse Desire and the Ambiguous Icon, and Mirrors of Infinity.