The World of Andre Le Notre

9780812221367: Paperback
Release Date: 15th September 2010

38 illus.

Dimensions: 178 x 254

Number of Pages: 168

Series Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture

University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

The World of Andre Le Notre

Written by
Thierry Mariage
Translated by
Graham Larkin

Mariage's examination of André Le Nôtre moves beyond traditional art historical documentation and appreciation into a realm of interpretation. He situates Le Nôtre garden art in a complex social and cultural world.

Paperback / £22.99

The gardens of Versailles—along with the name of their chief creator, André Le Nôtre (1613-1700)—have become synonymous with the French style of "formal" garden. This style in its turn would succumb to another "national" mode, the English school of naturalistic and picturesque landscapes. But as Thierry Mariage makes clear, the garden style that Le Nôtre brought to perfection need not be seen in opposition to the later "English" one. Rather, he claims, they represent two points along a continuum that exists between the natural and cultural worlds.

Published originally in Belgium as L'univers de Le Nostre, Mariage's examination of Le Nôtre moves beyond traditional art historical documentation and appreciation into a realm of interpretation. He situates Le Nôtre's garden art in a complex social and cultural world, where the practices of land management, surveying techniques and hydrology, military practice, and both scientific and literary perspectives on land use and experience brought into being a unique form of landscape architecture. His analysis opens up the fashion in which design techniques and garden philosophy are shaped by material culture.

List of Illustrations

1. Establishment of the Classic Landscape
—Mutations of the Seigneurial Residence
—Protectionist Policies and Economic Planning
—The Rehabilitation of the French Nobility

2. The Generation of Planners
—The Milieu and Corporation of Gardeners
—Practical Geometry and Measuring Instruments
—Conceptions of Landscape

3. Theory and Forms of the French Garden
—From Agronomy to Aesthetics
—The Precepts of Boyceau de la Baraudiere
—Symbolism of the Classic Garden and Origins of the Constitutive Parts
—Some Gardens from the First Half of the Seventeenth Century
—Critical Analysis of Courances
—The Originality of Vaux
—Fragments of Le Notre's Theory and Typical Features of His Style

4. Parks, Forests, and Planning
—The Surintendance des Batiments du Roi
—Regional-Scale Planning at Versailles
—Regulation of Space


Translator's Acknowledgments

Thierry Mariage is Architect for National and Historical Monuments, in charge of Versailles Museum, Park, and Gardens. Graham Larkin is Curator of European and American Art at the National Gallery of Canada.

"A substantial contribution to the study of seventeenth-century French garden practice."—Landscape Architecture

"A stimulating effort to contextualize Le Nôtre's career and to relate the 'French formal garden' to the cultural and political environment of Louis XIV's reign."—French History

"This ambitious book is intellectually significant, well researched, and cogently presented. . . . Excellent."—Geographical Reviews