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Experiencing the Garden in the Eighteenth Century

Martin Calder

This volume brings together the papers presented at a conference entitled ‘Experiencing the Garden in the Eighteenth Century’, held at the Institute of Romance Studies, Senate House, University of London on 13 March 2004. Speakers came from Europe, the United States and New Zealand, and each gave a very different perspective on the eighteenth-century landscape garden in England, France and elsewhere in Europe. The papers focused on the theme of experience, an especially important aspect of eighteenth-century garden design. Landscape gardens were created for visitors to move through on a journey from one place to the next: the garden would not be seen all at once, but would be experienced as a story unfolding. The visitor would follow a circuit around the garden, moving from light to shade, being given suggestive prompts with statues, temples and viewpoints, as if on a sensory, emotional and intellectual journey.
Contents: Katherine Myers: Visual fields: theories of perception and the landscape garden – Katja Grillner: Experience as imagined: writing the eighteenth-century landscape garden – Michel Baridon: Understanding nature and the aesthetics of the landscape garden – David L. Hays: Figuring the commonplace at Ermenonville – Martin Calder: Promenade in Ermenonville – David Maskill: Death in a French garden: the Laborde and Cook monuments at Méréville and the landscape of loss – Renata Tyszczuk: Nature intended: the garden of a roi bienfaisant – Jean-Marcel Humbert: Egypt in the eighteenth-century garden: decline or revival of the initiatory journey? – David Jacques/Tim Rock: Pierre-Jacques Fougeroux: a Frenchman’s commentary on English gardens of the 1720s.