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Isaac Oliver (c. 1565-1617)

A Young Man Seated Under a Tree c.1590-1595

RCIN 420639

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This Tudor miniature includes the first painted depiction of a knot garden. It was copied directly by Isaac Oliver from the most influential book of garden designs of his day, the 'Hortorum … formae', published in Antwerp in 1583. The formal garden contrasts with the grassy bower where the unknown young man meditates alone among forget-me-nots and heart’s-ease. His isolation contrasts with the couple strolling happily in the garden beyond, and his bold gaze seems to invite the viewer to join him in the garden.