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The Baroque Garden and the Artist

The formal seventeenth-century garden was full of exciting new features which engaged artists.

Group on horseback with a formal garden in the background

A Hawking Party at Marly, by Jean-Baptiste Martin ©

Axial plans and long views

Long views aligned on a building were promoted by the French garden designer André Mollet (d. c.1665) in his treatise Le Jardin de Plaisir (1651). These new extremes of depth in the garden could be re-created for dramatic effect on the two-dimensional picture plane through the mastery of the rules of single-point perspective.

View of Hampton Court

An exact prospect of Hampton Court by Sutton Nicholls ©

Parterres

Parterres – ornamental flower gardens – provided a pleasing symmetry and decorative appeal. This could be exploited from ground level or in the aerial view, which became the standard form of presentation of the garden, both in print and on canvas.

View of gardens and a water feature

A View of the Cascade, Bushy Park Water Gardens, c.1715, Studio of Marco Ricci ©

Water Features

‘Water and fountains are the most important ornament in gardens’ wrote the garden theorist Antoine-Joseph Dezallier d’Argenville in 1709.  Great cascades, or water-staircases, were particularly favoured in Italy and France; in England single jet fountains were preferred. Long canals also appeared for the first time and feature in Baroque garden art.

Peacokc and other birds in a landscape

Birds in a Landscape, c.1691 – 1714, Jakob Bogdani ©

Aviaries

Aviaries had been a feature of gardens since ancient times. They became increasingly popular in the seventeenth century, particularly in the Dutch Republic and in England after the accession of William III and Mary II. Artists exploited the new fashion by producing large-scale paintings of wildfowl in formal garden settings.

Drawing of a monumental carved urn

A marble vase in the Medici Gardens, Rome, 1656 by Steffano della Bella ©

Urns

Monumental carved urns and vases formed part of the artist’s repertory from the mid-seventeenth century. Urns and vases enriched the formal garden by their evocation of the classical past and also provided useful ‘punctuation’ to emphasise the regularity and geometry of garden layouts.

Attributed to Jean-Baptiste Martin (1659-1735)

A Hawking Party at Marly

Sutton Nicholls (active 1680-1740)

An exact prospect of Hampton Court

Studio of Marco Ricci (Belluno 1676-Venice 1730)

A View of the Cascade, Bushy Park Water Gardens

Jakob Bogdani (c. 1660-1720)

Birds in a Landscape

Bowles, John : Mercers Hall, Cheapside.

The Royal Palace of Windsor Castle

Overton, H. & Hoole, J.: White Horse, without Newgate, London

The Royal Palace of Kensington

Sutton Nicholls (active 1680-1740)

An exact prospect of Hampton Court

William Henry Toms (c. 1700-c. 1750)

St James's Palace and Parts adjacent.

Lille Tapestry Factory

The formal garden

Adam Weisweiler (1744-1820)

Cabinet

Attributed to Jean-Baptiste Martin (1659-1735)

A Stag Hunt at Versailles

Attributed to Adriaen van Diest (c.1655-1704)

Buckingham House

Ludolf de Jongh (Rotterdam 1616-Hillegersberg 1679)

A formal Garden: three Ladies surprised by a Gentleman

Studio of Marco Ricci (Belluno 1676-Venice 1730)

A View of the Cascade, Bushy Park Water Gardens

British School, 17th century

A Garden

Hendrick Danckerts (c. 1625-c. 1685)

Hampton Court Palace

Leonard Knyff (1650-1722)

A View of Hampton Court

Thomas Tompion (bapt.1639 d. 1713)

Sundial

Sir Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723)

Henry Wise (1653-1738)

Attributed to British School, 18th century

Windsor Castle

Jakob Bogdani (c. 1660-1720)

Birds in a Landscape

Adriaen Kocks (d. 1701)

Pair of tulip vases

After Daniel Marot (1663-1752)

Eight wall hangings

Adriaen Kocks (d. 1701)

Tulip vase

Jakob Bogdani (c. 1660-1720)

Flowers in a Vase

Antwerp [Belgium]

Tapestry of a pergola

Jakob Bogdani (c. 1660-1720)

Flowers in a Vase

Hubert Le Sueur (c. 1580-1658)

Boy with a thorn in his foot, 'Spinario'