Monday, May 8, 2017

Urban Garden - 1502 Nuremberg Garden painted c 1626–1711, by Georg Strauch

1502 Nuremberg Residence and Garden of Magdalene Pairin in Genealogy of the Derrer Family, about 1626–1711, Georg Strauch (German, 1613-1675)

This image of an estate with an enclosed garden in Nuremberg, Germany, appears at the end of a series of Derrer family portraits in their illustrated genealogy. The garden is arranged into flower & vegetable beds surrounded by fruit trees. The urban garden or hortus urbanus, a phrase coined by the 15C theorist Leon Battista Alberti, combined the dignity of a city house with the delights of a country villa & provided a place free from the restrictions of urban society. These gardens often were sites of contemplative withdrawal.

The residence is built of large, square blocks of stone, known as ashlar masonry. Because gardens are surely more impermanent & ephemeral than the stones of the house, this visual record of one of the Derrers' houses & gardens was a particularly effective way of preserving the family's status by looking at what they built & how they fashioned nature for both art & utility.