Garden of Pané
Garden of Dafne
A Renaissance garden has an immediate impact on the senses both through its breathtaking and spectacular vista and through its orderliness. It is perfectly proportioned and designed with an eye for symmetry. Wherever one ventures in such a garden there is always a new viewpoint to delight the senses. This may consist in the landscaping such as a row of poplars; a statue (or statues) placed in particular positions; a pond, waterfall or stream; a small glade; a folly; or planting which draws the eye.
Such orderliness in a garden can be off-putting to some, it is important therefore to take time to explore and view the gardens and buildings from different aspects. Most importantly, always look behind you – see how the aspect changes from a backward glance or from a different height when perspectives can change dramatically. The most unexpected aspects are those which invoke a sense of humour. Each placement in the landscape whether of tree, plant, statue, or folly may be unanticipated causing delight achieved through a mischievous positioning or strategy of placement. The architectural whole, both inside and outside, is methodically organised – where gardens and buildings complement and harmonize with each other.
These were grand designs indeed where inside and outside shared a balance of style, nature and religiosity combined with new explorations into the arts and sciences. Drawing on the sensibilities of the commissioning aristocrats and their personal beliefs and aspirations, the gardens become a metaphor for a perceived/conceived existence in order to emphasize the intellectual and aesthetic merits of the patrician.
These buildings, gardens and statuary can be seen as an attempt to hold time still, to stay within the present and to maintain the traditions of the past – a Faustian desire to harness beauty, love, life. It is as if there were some danger – a fear – of the future, of ageing, and of death.
These grand designs were created as an act of remembrance – from past to future – they act as post memorial space – a space which plays a double act and could be likened to Benjamin’s ‘Angelus Novus’; they endeavour to look to the future through their attempt to harness beauty in art as a form of everlasting life – based in a nostalgia for the myth of a paradise lost.