Mirrors of infinity: the French formal garden and 17th-century metaphysics
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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Gardens of the Imagination
Baroque Reflections Neoclassic Inflections
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aesthetic anamorphosis Apollo Arnauld axiomatic Baltrusaitis baroque Bernini Brun canal Carrousel Cartesian catoptric central axis century Chantilly chateau cited closure constructed court created depth Descartes Descartes's dissimulated distorted divine effects epoch etiquette existence expression Fountain Fouquet French formal garden gardens of Versailles Gaston Bachelard gaze geometric Gerard Genette grottos ground plan human hyperbolic implies infinite infinity Israel Silvestre king's labyrinth landscape linear perspective logique Louis Marin Louis xrv mathematical Maurice Merleau-Ponty Merleau-Ponty metaphysical microcosm miroir mirror narcissism nature neoclassic Niceron Nicolas Fouquet Nicole Notre's object optical painting Paris Pascal Pascalian passions perfect perspectival projection phantasms philosophy pictorial Pierre Nicole pools precisely rational reflected Renaissance representation revealed Ryoan-ji scene sculptures seen seventeenth solar Soleil space spectacle specular statue Sun King symbolic theological tion trans transformed Tuileries ultimate University vanishing point vanity Vaux Vaux-le Vaux-le-Vicomte Versailles Vicomte viewpoint vision visual xrv's