Wednesday, October 31, 2018

View of a House and its Estate in Belsize, Middlesex by Jan Siberechts, (1627‑c.1700)

1696 Jan Siberechts, (Flemish-born English artist, 1627‑c.1700) View of a House and its Estate in Belsize, Middlesex. 

Some art historians claim that in this painting we see a birds-eye view of the The Grove, the house & estate of Sir Francis Pemberton, a leading figure of the English judiciary.  He, along with his wife & 7 children, lived there until his death in 1697 just one year after Siberechts had completed the work.   Pemberton had bought the neighboring Dorchester House & its estate around 1688.  He then demolished that house to make way for his extensive vegetable gardens & orchards.  The all-embracing gardens can be seen surrounding the manor house in Siberechts’ painting.

Jan Siberechts (1627–1703) was born in Antwerp, the son of a sculptor with the same name. After establishing himself as an artist in Flanders, he moved to England during his forties.  Siberechts was one of scores of Dutch & Flemish artists who came to Britain in the 17C. He was baptized in Antwerp in 1627.  He was elected to the Guild of St Luke in 1648. By 1674, he was in England, apparently at the encouragement of George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who had seen some of Siberechts's landscapes in Antwerp in 1670. The artist was a Catholic, & one of his daughters became a lace-maker for the Queen.He was best known in England as a painter of topographical views of country houses & more general landscapes.  He seems to have traveled widely in Britain, and was in Wales in 1696. He remained in England until his death.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

View of Windsor Castle from the River by Hendrick Danckerts (1625-1689)

 1660 attr Hendrick Danckerts (Dutch artist, 1625-1689) View of Windsor Castle from the River. The original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I, it has been used by the reigning monarch & is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. Originally designed to protect Norman dominance around the outskirts of London & oversee a strategically important part of the River Thames, Windsor Castle was built as a motte-and-bailey, gradually replaced with stone fortifications, the castle withstood a prolonged siege during the First Barons' War at the start of the 13th century. Henry III built a luxurious royal palace within the castle during the middle of the century, & Edward III went further, rebuilding the palace to make an even grander set of buildings in what would become "the most expensive secular building project of the entire Middle Ages in England." Edward's core design lasted through the Tudor period, during which Henry VIII & Elizabeth I made increasing use of the castle as a royal court & centre for diplomatic entertainment.  Windsor Castle survived the tumultuous period of the English Civil War, when it was used as a military headquarters by Parliamentary forces & a prison for Charles I. At the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Charles II rebuilt much of Windsor Castle with the help of the architect Hugh May.

Hendrick Danckerts (c.1625-1680) was a Dutch  landscape painter who moved to England, entering the service of Charles II & the Duke of York, in 1658. Born in The Hague, Danckerts began his career as an engraver &in 1651, he entered that city’s Guild of St Luke. From around 1653-7, Danckerts traveled in Italy determined to improve his painting technique. On his return to Holland, he established himself as a landscape painter, before Charles II invited him to England.  He painted landscapes, especially views of harbors & royal residences. He left England in 1679, due to the public hostility towards Roman Catholics after the Popish Plot controversy. Charles commissioned several important pieces from Danckerts, & by 1688, The Royal Collection owned 29 works by the Dutch painter.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Cheveley, Cambridgeshire by Jan Siberechts, (1627‑c.1700)

1681 Jan Siberechts, (Flemish-born English artist, (1627‑c.1700) Cheveley, Cambridgeshire. 

The castle is thought to have been built by Sir John de Pulteney (died 8 June 1349) , financier and 4x Mayor of London, who was granted a licence to to furnish a wall or a manor house with battlements at the dwelling place of his manor in Cheveley in 1341. The resulting structure, which is the only Edwardian castle in Cambridgeshire, is more likely to have served as a mark of Pulteney's status than as a military stronghold, and to have provided a prestigious hunting lodge as the centerpiece of a deer park established shortly thereafter.  The walls and towers were still standing in the early 17C. The park may have been created around the castle by John Pulteney. Sir Robert Cotton's imparkment of 12 a. c. 1510 was probably an addition and perhaps marked the abandonment of the castle for a new site. His grandson Sir John Cotton (d. 1620) built a brick house at the south-west corner of the park. In the 1660s and 1674 it had 21 hearths. Henry Jermyn rebuilt it by 1681, when two views were painted for him by Jan Siberechts. The main rooms occupied a double-pile east wing, of two storeys with attics and basements, facing down an avenue leading from the northern end of the village high street.

Jan Siberechts (1627–1703) was born in Antwerp, the son of a sculptor with the same name. After establishing himself as an artist in Flanders, he moved to England during his forties.  Siberechts was one of scores of Dutch & Flemish artists who came to Britain in the 17C. He was baptized in Antwerp in 1627.  He was elected to the Guild of St Luke in 1648. By 1674, he was in England, apparently at the encouragement of George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who had seen some of Siberechts's landscapes in Antwerp in 1670. The artist was a Catholic, & one of his daughters became a lace-maker for the Queen. He was best known in England as a painter of topographical views of country houses & more general landscapes.  He seems to have traveled widely in Britain, and was in Wales in 1696. He remained in England until his death.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

17C English Houses & Gardens attributed to Hendrick Danckerts (1625-1689)

1670s attributed to Hendrick Danckerts (Dutch artist, 1625-1689)  John Rose (1619–1677), the Royal Gardener, presenting a Pineapple to King Charles II (1630–1685) The difficult to cultivate pineapple sailed to England from South America.  A full-length King Charles II, wearing the Star of the Garter, poses on a terrace, while a gentleman gardener on bended knee presents him  with a pineapple. In the background is a formal garden & a large house. Two spaniels appear on either side of the King.

Hendrick Danckerts (c.1625-1680) was a Dutch  landscape painter who moved to England, entering the service of Charles II & the Duke of York, in 1658. Born in The Hague, Danckerts began his career as an engraver &in 1651, he entered that city’s Guild of St Luke. From around 1653-7, Danckerts traveled in Italy determined to improve his painting technique. On his return to Holland, he established himself as a landscape painter, before Charles II invited him to England.  He painted landscapes, especially views of harbors & royal residences. He left England in 1679, due to the public hostility towards Roman Catholics after the Popish Plot controversy. Charles commissioned several important pieces from Danckerts, & by 1688, The Royal Collection owned 29 works by the Dutch painter.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

View of Longleat by Jan Siberechts, (1627‑c.1700)

1678 Jan Siberechts, (Flemish-born English artist, 1627‑c.1700) View of Longleat. The site had previously been an Augustinian priory, those buildings were destroyed by fire in 1567. In 1529 the priory which formerly stood on the site of the present Longleat House was dissolved; and in 1546, the site, together with its mill, was purchased by Sir John Thynne who had begun to accumulate land and property.  Thynne purchased the rundown priory, 60 acres of land, a rabbit warren and an orchard for the grand sum of £53.  After Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, the former medieval priory of the Black Canons & its grounds were purchased by Thynne. When the priory burned down in 1567, Thynne, who had been knighted in 1547, decided to build a house that was a fitting seat for his newly titled family. The house he built designed by Robert Symthson (c 1536-1614), reflected the new Italian-style sat beside the brook which had powered the mill. The result, together with its enclosed formal gardens, is recorded in paintings by Jan Seberechts, dated 1675-8, which show the house and grounds surrounded by an enclosed park grazed by deer. & looked out towards the magnificent grounds rather than in towards the courtyard. It has retained the same exterior appearance since Sir John’s death in 1580.  From 1683 a great formal garden in the Franco-Dutch style was laid out. The 1st Viscount Weymouth commissioned George London to transform & extend the 14 acre orchard on the east side of the house into an impressive Baroque style garden, filled with canals, parterres, statues & fountains. This included a canal section of the brook, fountains, mazes, plats, & a large wilderness plantation known as The Grove. 

Jan Siberechts (1627–1703) was born in Antwerp, the son of a sculptor with the same name. After establishing himself as an artist in Flanders, he moved to England during his forties.  Siberechts was one of scores of Dutch & Flemish artists who came to Britain in the 17C. He was baptized in Antwerp in 1627.  He was elected to the Guild of St Luke in 1648. By 1674, he was in England, apparently at the encouragement of George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who had seen some of Siberechts's landscapes in Antwerp in 1670. The artist was a Catholic, & one of his daughters became a lace-maker for the Queen.  He was best known in England as a painter of topographical views of country houses & more general landscapes.  He seems to have traveled widely in Britain, and was in Wales in 1696. He remained in England until his death.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Jan Siberechts, (1627‑c.1700) View of Longleat.

1675 Jan Siberechts, (Flemish-born English artist, 1627‑c.1700) View of Longleat.

The site had previously been an Augustinian priory, those buildings were destroyed by fire in 1567. In 1529 the priory which formerly stood on the site of the present Longleat House was dissolved; and in 1546, the site, together with its mill, was purchased by Sir John Thynne who had begun to accumulate land and property.  Thynne purchased the rundown priory, 60 acres of land, a rabbit warren and an orchard for the grand sum of £53.  After Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, the former medieval priory of the Black Canons & its grounds were purchased by Thynne. When the priory burned down in 1567, Thynne, who had been knighted in 1547, decided to build a house that was a fitting seat for his newly titled family. The house he built designed by Robert Symthson (c 1536-1614), reflected the new Italian-style sat beside the brook which had powered the mill. The result, together with its enclosed formal gardens, is recorded in paintings by Jan Seberechts, dated 1675-8, which show the house and grounds surrounded by an enclosed park grazed by deer. & looked out towards the magnificent grounds rather than in towards the courtyard. It has retained the same exterior appearance since Sir John’s death in 1580.  From 1683 a great formal garden in the Franco-Dutch style was laid out. The 1st Viscount Weymouth commissioned George London to transform & extend the 14 acre orchard on the east side of the house into an impressive Baroque style garden, filled with canals, parterres, statues & fountains. This included a canal section of the brook, fountains, mazes, plats, & a large wilderness plantation known as The Grove.

Jan Siberechts (1627–1703) was born in Antwerp, the son of a sculptor with the same name. After establishing himself as an artist in Flanders, he moved to England during his forties. Siberechts was one of scores of Dutch & Flemish artists who came to Britain in the 17C. He was baptized in Antwerp in 1627. He was elected to the Guild of St Luke in 1648. By 1674, he was in England, apparently at the encouragement of George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who had seen some of Siberechts's landscapes in Antwerp in 1670. The artist was a Catholic, & one of his daughters became a lace-maker for the Queen. He was best known in England as a painter of topographical views of country houses & more general landscapes. He seems to have traveled widely in Britain, and was in Wales in 1696. He remained in England until his death.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Jan Siberechts, (1627‑c.1700) A View of Bayhall, Pembury, Kent.

 1675 Jan Siberechts, (Flemish-born English artist, 1627‑c.1700) A View of Bayhall, Pembury, Kent.

A settlement in Pembury almost certainly predates the Norman conquest, as the village church of St Peter is of Norman origin, it is thought to have been built in the early 12C or late 11C, though the earliest it can be dated with certainty is to 1337, when John Culpeper of Bayhall carried out building work to the church. The first recorded mention of Pembury is as "Peppingeberia" in the 12C Textus Roffensis, though it was also known in ancient deeds as "Pepenbery."  Richard Amherst (1565-1632) acquired the Bayhall estate at Pembury, a moated medieval manor house of the Culpeper family. It is not clear when he acquired Bayhall, but it was perhaps around 1617, when he first became a JP for Kent. Since he never moved from Lewes to Bayhall, he perhaps intended the estate as a home for his eldest son, Richard Amherst (1600-64). Richard was also a lawyer, and when he retired in the 1650s, he rebuilt Bayhall as a fashionable country house. The painting shows an Artisan Mannerist house.  A distinctive feature is the articulation of the main facade by a giant order: something also found at Lees Court. The designer is unidentifiable, but was probably a London bricklayer.  Accompanying the house was a walled formal garden with statues & a surrounding landscape of drives & avenues which can still be traced in the landscape. In 1664, Bayhall passed to Richard Jr's eldest son, Charles Amherst (d. 1705)

Jan Siberechts (1627–1703) was born in Antwerp, the son of a sculptor with the same name. After establishing himself as an artist in Flanders, he moved to England during his forties.  Siberechts was one of scores of Dutch & Flemish artists who came to Britain in the 17C. He was baptized in Antwerp in 1627.  He was elected to the Guild of St Luke in 1648. By 1674, he was in England, apparently at the encouragement of George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who had seen some of Siberechts's landscapes in Antwerp in 1670. The artist was a Catholic, & one of his daughters became a lace-maker for the Queen.  He was best known in England as a painter of topographical views of country houses & more general landscapes.  He seems to have traveled widely in Britain, and was in Wales in 1696. He remained in England until his death.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Sunday, October 21, 2018

1660 Garden

1660 Israel Silvestre (1621-1691) Diverses Veues et Perspectives nouvelles de Rome, Paris et des autres lieux

Friday, October 19, 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018

1565 Harvesting


Pieter Bruegel the Elder (Flemish Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1525-1569) The Harvesters 1565

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Cultural Landscapes - Expanding Horizons - The 17-18C Grand Tour

1774 Douglas, 8th Duke of Hamilton, on his Grand Tour with his physician Dr John Moore & the latter's son John. Geneva is portrayed in the distance, where they stayed for 2 years. Painted by Jean Preudhomme  (1732-1795)

In the 17-18C, many young (& not so young) English aristocrats capped off their education with a trip through Europe. In addition to discovering classical antiquity; natural & cultural landscapes; & the Renaissance in Italy, they learned to function in the sophisticated circles of a variety of urban high societies, where manners varied from place to place. Thomas Coryat's travel book Coryat's Crudities (1611), published during the Twelve Years' Truce, was an early influence on establishing the Grand Tour but it was the far more extensive tour through Italy undertaken by the "Collector" Earl of Arundel, with his wife & children !! in 1613–14 that established the most significant precedent. This is partly because he asked architect Inigo Jones, already known as a "great traveler," to act as his cicerone (guide). Larger numbers of tourists began their tours feeling safer after the Peace of Münster in 1648, between the Dutch Republic & Spain effectively ending both the Thirty Years' War & the Eighty Years' War. 

Unlike many other European countries, whose absolutist regimes left the aristocracy with little room to maneuver politically, in 18C Britain, the nobles had asumed an important role in politics & diplomacy. The country had settled as a parliamentary monarchy & also enjoyed political & religious stability. It also went through a period of prosperity, the result of the application of new plant cultivation techniques; the beginning of industrialization; & the development of trade, driven by its naval power. Gentlemen considered that one of their duties was to ensure the proper functioning of public affairs with active participation in politics. Colonial expansion gave them an even greater economic opportunity. The government needed high officials to take the reins of the Empire, & who better than members of the nobility to assume that responsibility.

The great English families began to take great care of the education received by their offspring, called to occupy positions of importance in the immediate future. As a culmination to this education, many planned a trip to continental Europe & perhaps even Asia. To discover the sacred places & spaces of classical culture, but also to get in touch with European high society; to learn to move with elegance in their salons; to learn their tastes & customs; & to acquire rudiments of other languages, especially French. It was not meant to be a pleasure trip, but a training time; and, therefore, everything was meticulously planned by parents, tutors, & mentors before departure.

The trip was sometimes it was carried out in small groups of 2 or 3. They were accompanied by one or more servants & a tutor, an educated gentleman who taught them, while exercising some control & vigilance over the pupils who craved knowledge but also pleasure. The idea of ​​traveling as a form of learning was impelled by the empiricist current, which advocated that the origin of knowledge is experience. It was precisely Richard Lassels (c 1603–1668), a Catholic priest who traveled several times to Italy throughout his life as a tutor, who coined the term Grand Tour for this type of travel in his 1670 Voyage of Italy travel journal. Lassels's introduction listed 4 areas in which travel furnished "an accomplished, consummate Traveler" - the intellectual, the social, the ethical (by the opportunity of drawing moral instruction from all the traveler saw), & the political.

The idea of ​​traveling as a form of learning was impelled by the belief the origin of knowledge is experience. In his Essay on Human Understanding, the Englishman John Locke argued that ideas reach man exclusively through his senses & the physical stimuli to which he is exposed. From this point of view, the trip became an indispensable element for those who wanted to develop their mind & improve their knowledge of the world.

The duration of the Grand Tour was variable lasting from 6 months to several years. The places visited depended on the time & available financial means, & also on the contacts that the families had among welcoming European aristocrats. But, whatever the duration or route chosen, Italian cities were a must. After crossing the Channel, travelers often disembarked in the French port of Calais, to buy a horse carriage & everything necessary for the trip. Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, often was the first important destination. 

Passing through Reims & Besançon, they continued to the Swiss city of Geneva to follow French courses & make visits to other points of the Swiss geography. The trip continued towards the south towards the Mediterranean, usually with stays in Lyon, Avignon, Nice, & Genoa. Once in Italy began the true intellectual pilgrimage for classical antiquity. The cradle of the Renaissance, Florence was a truly important Italian destination. The intellectuals of the 18C, admirers of the classics, considered that Renaissance art was a "modern" interpretation of classicism. The stay in the Tuscan capital focused on the study of art, illustrated with the contemplation of the masterpieces of painting, sculpture & architecture. From its opening to the public in 1769, the Uffizi Gallery became a must for nearly all late 18C culture-seekers. But the main goal of the Italian trip was Rome. The vestiges of the Roman Empire, such as the Coliseum, the Pantheon, or the forums, fascinated the visitors. Since Rome & classical antiquity had become the model to be imitated, the Eternal City also attracted artists & art students from all over Europe who came to learn from the masters. From Rome, it was generally continued to Naples, with the mythical Vesuvius. The Serenissima Republic of Venice was the City of the Canals & great art as well as a crossroads between East & West, which gave it a certain exotic flavor. A visit to Turin & Milan was desirable. From Milan the traveler could traverse the Alps heading north through to the German-speaking parts of Europe. The visitor might stop in Innsbruck before visiting Holland & Flanders. 

The French capital was the heart of elegant & sophisticated Europe. If in Italy the young people devoted themselves to the study of art & history, in Paris immersed themselves in a gay social life. The lucky ones who had the right letters of introduction had the opportunity to access the French high society & participate in their hectic social life. The objective was, as in the rest of the Grand Tour, of a pedagogical nature: to learn to behave in society with ease & refinement. The dance, fencing or horse-riding classes were teamed with performances in the theater & in the opera & evenings in the distinguished & cosmopolitan halls of Paris, where exquisite delicacies were tasted & worldly themes were discussed. After the Parisian stage, several weeks or months, many returned to England.

But the Grand Tour allowed innumerable variations. Sometimes, the tour was completed with stays in the Netherlands & in the territories of Germanic culture: Vienna & Innsbruck, Berlin & Potsdam or Dresden were frequent destinations. Spain sometimes was excluded from the Grand Tour itineraries, because it was plunged into a deep decline. Spain was the quintessence of the Baroque, a movement little valued by the prevailing Neoclassicism at that time. Some young people extended their studies in prestigious German universities, like those of Leipzig, Munich or Heidelberg. Others went to Sicily, where they visited the Greek archaeological remains, & a few dared to travel to Greece, considered risky, since at that time it was under the power of the Ottoman Empire. Some even ventured into the Ottoman Empire itself.

One prestigious aspect of the trip to Europe was the possibility of collecting objects from excavations making the tour exert a significant influence on the artistic & literary tastes of England. The marble sculptures of the Roman era & other antique objects, caused a furor among Tour travelers, who returned loaded with works of art to exhibit in their libraries, halls, & gardens, a tangible symbol of wealth & status.  In 1719, Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington & 4th Earl of Cork, returned to London from his trip to Italy with 878 pieces of art. Boyle would become an excellent architect introducing in England the Palladian style influencing British Neoclassicism. Paintings, in particular, the views of cultural & natural landscapes, as well as portraits of the participants of the Grand Tour in one of the places visited, also became an object of prestige.

Between the 18-19C, Great Britain experienced a period of economic growth borne of the Industrial Revolution. A wealthy bourgeoisie emerged that wanted to emulate the more powerful aristocracy including the real possibility of traveling abroad. In parallel, the railway & regular shipping lines reduced the cost of travel, while increasing their safety. The long & uncomfortable displacements were left behind, & it was no longer necessary to have months or years to visit other countries. In this way, the new industrial bourgeoisie & more women joined the aristocracy in the Grand Tour. This popularization would be the end of the Grand Tour as such. The 19C travel lost everything that made the Grand Tour a desirable experience: its formative purpose; the stays of several months allowing travelers to get in touch with European society; & that it was the unique privilege of elites.

From Historia y Vida by Javier Cisa  08/17/2017

Sources

Beckford, William. The Grand Tour of William Beckford (1760-1844). Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1986.
A series of original letters describing the events of his experience while abroad on the Grand Tour, including people he encountered places he visited, & his changing perspective of the world.

Black, Jeremy. The British Abroad: The Grand Tour in the Eighteenth Century. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992.

Black, Jeremy. The British & the Grand Tour. London: Croom Helm, 1985.

Bohls, Elizabeth. Women Travel Writers & the Language of Aesthetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Bohls’ work examines the travel writings of seven prominent 18C women: Mary Wollstonecraft, Dorothy Wordsworth, Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelley, Janet Schaw, Lady Mary Wortly Mantagu, & Helen Williams.

Boxer, Marilyn & Jean Quataert. Connecting Spheres: European Women in a Globalizing World, 1550 to the Present. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
This collection of essays examines the role of women in European history & focuses on women’s experiences throughout the centuries.

Chard, Chloe. Grand & Ghostly Tours: The Topography of Memory, Eighteenth Century Studies 31.1 (1997): 101-108.
The essay highlights women’s roles as travelers-mainly that they assume the role of "detached spectators."

Hibbert, Christopher. The Grand Tour. London: Thames Muthuen, 1987.
This book jumps from country to country discussing the important sights, cities, lodging, restaurants, & obstacles. Also explored historical & political activity that could influence the tour.

Korte, Barbara. English Travel Writing. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2000.
This book houses the works of several authors from the 18C who traveled abroad, describing different aspects of travel. The scenic & romantic aspects of literature & travel are emphasized.

Lambert, R.S. The Grand Tour: A Journey in the Tracks of the Age of Aristocracy. London: Faber & Faber Limited, 1935.
This is a series of articles from The Listener, a publication of the 18C. Each article describes a different leg of the journey of the Grand Tour. It discusses less popular routes & the eventual decline of the Grand Tour.

Trease, Geoffrey. The Grand Tour. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1967.
This book surveys the proper mannerisms while abroad, the items to bring along, money matters such as subsidies, plus quotes from Grand Tourists themselves, detailing their personal adventures.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

1600s Public Garden

Pieter Schenk (Dutch artist, 1660 - 1718-19) Views of Berlin and Cleves  Hortus Electoralis Berolinii

Monday, October 15, 2018

17C Euro Gardens - Enghien - Maze or Labyrinth

Romeyn de Hooghe (Dutch artist, 1645-1708) The Maze or Labyrinth at the Renaissance gardens at Enghien near Hainault. By this period, a labyrinth usually had a single through-route with twists & turns but without branches, while a maze was designed as a confusing pathway with many branches, choices of path & dead-ends. A labyrinth was not designed to be difficult to navigate with only one path. A maze was a tour puzzle & could be designed with various levels of difficulty & complexity. A traditional labyrinth usually had only one entrance which was also the exit. There was just one path from the entrance to the center. A maze may have been planned with a variety of entry & exit points. Some labyrinths have a spiritual significance, signifying life's complex, unexpected, & long path to reach God.

A hedge maze is an outdoor garden maze or labyrinth in which the "walls" or dividers between passages are made of vertical hedges. Hedge mazes evolved from the knot gardens of Renaissance Europe. Early garden mazes began to appear in the 16C. These initial mazes were constructed from evergreen herbs, but, over time, box became a more popular option due to its robustness. Italian architects had been sketching conceptual garden labyrinths as early as 1460, & hundreds of mazes were constructed in Europe between the 16C-18C. Initially, the hedge maze was not intended to confuse, but to provide a unicursal walking path. Puzzle-like hedge mazes featuring dead ends & tall hedges arrived in England during the reign of King William III of England. It was possible to get lost in the much-admired labyrinth of Versailles, built for Louis XIV of France in 1677 & destroyed in 1778. This maze was adorned with 39 hydraulic sculpture groups depicting Aesop's fables. The oldest surviving puzzle hedge maze, at Hampton Court Palace in Surrey, England, was built for King William in the late 17C. Its distinctive trapezoidal shape is due to pre-existing garden paths running alongside the maze.  Mazes & topiary are an expression of man's ultimate control over nature.  The maze allows the owner to "help" his visitors who might get lost in the surrounding green, living puzzle, which the owner built, of course.  Status & the impression of wisdom, culture, & intelligence were important for the owners of these gardens.  

Sunday, October 14, 2018

17C The Forme of the Garden from William Lawson's A New Orchard And Garden


William Lawson A New Orchard And Garden or, The best way for planting, grafting, and to make any ground good, for a rich Orchard Particularly in the North and generall 1618

Forme of the Garden

The goodnesse of the soile, and site, are necessary to the wel being of an orchard simply, but the forme is so farre necessary, as the owner shall thinke meete, for that kind of forme wherewith euery particular man is delighted, we leaue it to himselfe, Suum cuique pulchrum. The vsuall forme is a square. The forme that men like in generall is a square, for although roundnesse be forma perfectissima, yet that principle is good where necessity by art doth not force some other forme. If within one large square the Gardner shall make one round Labyrinth or Maze with some kind of Berries, it will grace your forme, so there be sufficient roomth left for walkes, so will foure or more round knots do. For it is to be noted, that the eye must be pleased with the forme. I haue seene squares rising by degrees with stayes from your house-ward, according to this forme which I haue, Crassa quod aiunt Minerua, with an vnsteady hand, rough hewen, for in forming the country gardens, the better sort may vse better formes, and more costly worke...


A. Al these squares must bee set with trees, the Gardens and other ornaments must stand in spaces betwixt the trees, & in the borders & fences.


B. Trees 20. yards asunder.


C. Garden Knots.


D. Kitchen garden.


E. Bridge.


F. Conduit.


G. Staires.


H. Walkes set with great wood thicke.


I. Walkes set with great wood round about your Orchard.


K. The out fence.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Music in the Garden 1500s

Circle of Joris Hoefnagel (Antwerp 1542-1601 Vienna) Elegantly dressed figures merrymaking in a garden

Friday, October 12, 2018

Children & European Gardens out Windows 16C-18C

1599 attr Gortzius Geldorp (Dutch painter, 1553–1618) Portrait of a Girl aged 4
 1599 attr Gortzius Geldorp (Dutch painter, 1553–1618)  Portrait of a Girl aged 4, dated 1599


 1606 Unknown artist, Lettice Newdigate age 2
 1606 Unknown artist, Lettice Newdigate age 2


 1625 Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen (Dutch or Flemish artist, 1593-1661) Sir Thomas Lucy of Charlecote and Family
1625 Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen (Dutch or Flemish artist, 1593-1661) Sir Thomas Lucy of Charlecote and Family


 1640 1640 Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen (British artist, 1593-1661) Portrait of (Baron) Arthur Capel and his family
 1640 Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen (Dutch or Flemish artist, 1593-1661) Portrait of (Baron) Arthur Capel and his family


 1650 Unknown artist Boy with Coral
 1650 Unknown artist Boy with Coral


Hendrick Berckman (Dutch artist, 1629-1679)  Portrait of a Boy and his Dog
Hendrick Berckman (Dutch artist, 1629-1679) Portrait of a Boy and his Dog

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Preparing flax for linen 1515

1515 Da Costa Hours, in Latin Illuminated by Simon Bening (1484–1561) Belgium, Bruges, Preparing flax for linen

Monday, October 8, 2018

A 1500s Garden of the Italian elite

 Bonifacio Veronese called Bonifacio de' Pitati (Italian, 1487–1553) An Architectural Capriccio in an Ornamental Garden

Sunday, October 7, 2018

17C Love & Harvesting

Juni Hooien, After Crispijn van de Passe (I), Maerten de Vos, c. 1574 - c. 1687

Grain agriculture in ancient Rome provided bread for everyman's table & was idealized among the social elite as a way of life. Cicero considered farming the best of all Roman occupations. In his treatise On Duties, he declared that "of all the occupations by which gain is secured, none is better than agriculture, none more profitable, none more delightful, none more becoming to a free man." When one of his clients was derided in court for preferring a rural lifestyle, Cicero defended country life as "the teacher of economy, of industry, & of justice." Cato wrote "when they would praise a worthy man their praise took this form: 'Good husband good farmer'; it is from the farming class that the bravest men & the sturdiest soldiers come."  Cato, Columella, Varro & Palladius wrote handbooks on farming.

Staple crops included wheat, emmer, spelt, & barley, all of them used for bread, the mainstay of every Roman table. In his treatise De agricultura ("On Farming", 2nd century BC), Cato wrote that the best farms contained a vineyard, followed by an irrigated garden, willow plantation, olive orchard, meadow, grain land, forest trees, vineyard trained on trees, & lastly acorn woodlands. "The people living in the city of Rome constituted a huge market for the purchase of food produced on Italian farms.  Cato claimed that a small farm should have "a foreman, a foreman's wife, ten laborers, one ox driver, one donkey driver, one man in charge of the willow grove, one swineherd, in all sixteen persons; two oxen, two donkeys for wagon work, one donkey for the mill work." 

Land ownership was a dominant factor in distinguishing the aristocracy from the common person, & the more land a Roman owned, the more important he would be in the city. Soldiers were often rewarded with land from the commander they served. Though farms depended on slave labor, free men & citizens were hired at farms to oversee the slaves & ensure that the farms ran smoothly.  The Romans had four systems of farm management: direct work by owner & his family; tenant farming or sharecropping in which the owner & a tenant divide up a farm's produce; forced labor by slaves owned by aristocrats & supervised by slave managers; & other arrangements in which a farm was leased to a tenant.

There was much commerce between the provinces of the empire, & all regions of the empire were largely economically interdependent. Some provinces specialized in the production of grains including wheat, emmer, spelt, barley, & millet; others in wine & others in olive oil, depending on the soil type. Columella writes in his Res Rustica, "Soil that is heavy, chalky, & wet is not unsuited to the growing for winter wheat & spelt. Barley tolerates no place except one that is loose & dry."  Pliny the Elder wrote extensively about agriculture in his Naturalis Historia including chapter XVIII on The Natural History of Grain 

In the Roman Empire, some calculated that a family of 6 people would need to cultivate 12 iugera/ 3 hectares of land to meet minimum food requirements (without animals). Romans could acquire land for a farm in one of three ways. The most common way to gain land was to purchase the land. Though some lower class citizens did own small pieces of land, they often found it too difficult & expensive to maintain, & would sell it to someone in the aristocracy who had the financial backing to support a farm. Though there were some public lands available to the common person for use, aristocrats also tended to purchase those pieces of land, which caused a great deal of tension between the two classes. Some theorize that “Mass eviction of the poor by the rich underlay the political tensions & civil wars of the last century of the Roman Republic.” Another way to acquire land was as a reward for going to war. High ranking soldiers returning from war would often be given small pieces of public land or land in provinces as a way of paying them for their services. The last way to obtain land was through inheritance. A father could leave his land to his family, usually to his son, in the event of his death.

Cato explained that though some small farms were owned by lower class citizens & soldiers, much of the land was controlled by the noble class of Rome. Land ownership was just one of many distinctions that set the aristocracy apart from the lower classes. Aristocracy would "reorganize small holdings into larger more profitable farms in order to compete with other nobles." It was considered a point of pride to own not just the largest piece of land, but also to have land that grew high quality produce. As Cato wrote "when they would praise a worthy man their praise took this form: 'Good husband good farmer'; it is from the farming class that the bravest men & the sturdiest soldiers come." Careful planning went into every detail of owning & maintaining a farm in Roman culture.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Harvesting - Illuminated Manuscripts

Simon Bening - Da Costa Hours - c.1515

Grain agriculture in ancient Rome provided bread for everyman's table & was idealized among the social elite as a way of life. Cicero considered farming the best of all Roman occupations. In his treatise On Duties, he declared that "of all the occupations by which gain is secured, none is better than agriculture, none more profitable, none more delightful, none more becoming to a free man." When one of his clients was derided in court for preferring a rural lifestyle, Cicero defended country life as "the teacher of economy, of industry, & of justice." Cato wrote "when they would praise a worthy man their praise took this form: 'Good husband good farmer'; it is from the farming class that the bravest men & the sturdiest soldiers come."  Cato, Columella, Varro & Palladius wrote handbooks on farming.

Staple crops included wheat, emmer, spelt, & barley, all of them used for bread, the mainstay of every Roman table. In his treatise De agricultura ("On Farming", 2nd century BC), Cato wrote that the best farms contained a vineyard, followed by an irrigated garden, willow plantation, olive orchard, meadow, grain land, forest trees, vineyard trained on trees, & lastly acorn woodlands. "The people living in the city of Rome constituted a huge market for the purchase of food produced on Italian farms.  Cato claimed that a small farm should have "a foreman, a foreman's wife, ten laborers, one ox driver, one donkey driver, one man in charge of the willow grove, one swineherd, in all sixteen persons; two oxen, two donkeys for wagon work, one donkey for the mill work." 

Land ownership was a dominant factor in distinguishing the aristocracy from the common person, & the more land a Roman owned, the more important he would be in the city. Soldiers were often rewarded with land from the commander they served. Though farms depended on slave labor, free men & citizens were hired at farms to oversee the slaves & ensure that the farms ran smoothly.  The Romans had four systems of farm management: direct work by owner & his family; tenant farming or sharecropping in which the owner & a tenant divide up a farm's produce; forced labor by slaves owned by aristocrats & supervised by slave managers; & other arrangements in which a farm was leased to a tenant.

There was much commerce between the provinces of the empire, & all regions of the empire were largely economically interdependent. Some provinces specialized in the production of grains including wheat, emmer, spelt, barley, & millet; others in wine & others in olive oil, depending on the soil type. Columella writes in his Res Rustica, "Soil that is heavy, chalky, & wet is not unsuited to the growing for winter wheat & spelt. Barley tolerates no place except one that is loose & dry."  Pliny the Elder wrote extensively about agriculture in his Naturalis Historia including chapter XVIII on The Natural History of Grain 

In the Roman Empire, some calculated that a family of 6 people would need to cultivate 12 iugera/ 3 hectares of land to meet minimum food requirements (without animals). Romans could acquire land for a farm in one of three ways. The most common way to gain land was to purchase the land. Though some lower class citizens did own small pieces of land, they often found it too difficult & expensive to maintain, & would sell it to someone in the aristocracy who had the financial backing to support a farm. Though there were some public lands available to the common person for use, aristocrats also tended to purchase those pieces of land, which caused a great deal of tension between the two classes. Some theorize that “Mass eviction of the poor by the rich underlay the political tensions & civil wars of the last century of the Roman Republic.” Another way to acquire land was as a reward for going to war. High ranking soldiers returning from war would often be given small pieces of public land or land in provinces as a way of paying them for their services. The last way to obtain land was through inheritance. A father could leave his land to his family, usually to his son, in the event of his death.


Cato explained that though some small farms were owned by lower class citizens & soldiers, much of the land was controlled by the noble class of Rome. Land ownership was just one of many distinctions that set the aristocracy apart from the lower classes. Aristocracy would "reorganize small holdings into larger more profitable farms in order to compete with other nobles." It was considered a point of pride to own not just the largest piece of land, but also to have land that grew high quality produce. As Cato wrote "when they would praise a worthy man their praise took this form: 'Good husband good farmer'; it is from the farming class that the bravest men & the sturdiest soldiers come." Careful planning went into every detail of owning & maintaining a farm in Roman culture.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Kermesse - Outdoor Celebrations for the entire community

 1590 Gillis Mostaert (1528–1598) Village Kermesse

Kermesse, a festival or fair, is a Dutch language term derived from 'kerk' (church) & 'mis' (mass) originally denoting the mass said on the anniversary of the foundation of a church (or a parish). Such celebrations were regularly held in the Low Countries & also in northern France, & were accompanied by feasting, dancing & sports of all kinds. Now called "Kermes” in Germany, & “la quermes” in Spain, by any name it has come to mean a small community carnival featuring games of chance & skill, music, refreshments, entertainment, laughter, & fun.
Unknown Artist of the Flemish School The Kermesse Of Saint George


Circle of Marten van Cleve  (c. 1527-b. 1581)  A Village Kermesse


Circle of Marten van Cleve  (c. 1527-b. 1581)  A Village Kermesse


 David Teniers the Elder (1582-1649) Village Kermess


 David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690) A Country Kermesse


 Jan Steen (Dutch artist, 1626-1679)  A Village Revel 1673


Lucas van Valkenborch or van Valckenborch (Flemish painter, c 1530-1597)  A Village Kermesse


Petrus Paulus Rubens (1577-1640) La Kermesse ou Noce de village


 Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1525-1569) Village Dance


Pieter Brueghel Younger (1564-1638)  The Kermesse of St George

Lucas van Valkenborch or van Valckenborch (Flemish painter, c 1530-1597) Rural Festival in the Landscape


Circle of Joris Hoefnagel or Georg Hoefnagel (1542-1601).  A village festival with elegantly dressed figures in procession