Saturday, 3 June 2017

Gardens exhibition

The ambitious exhibition on the theme of gardens underway at the Grand Palais offers a comprehensive look at the convergence of art and gardens by examining botanical history and the background of the art of gardens. From a Pompei fresco created in the first half of the first century to installations from contemporary artists, the exhibition presents a variety of genres over a wide period of time, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, sketches and films.

Garden of the Virgin Mary
The depiction of gardens by artists dates back to the Middle Ages. They portrayed “the enclosed garden Hortus Conclusus,” based on the Canticles from the Old Testament which attest to the virginity of Mary, as a garden of an abbey with white lilies and wild strawberries that symbolize the Virgin Mary and utilitarian plants such as medicinal herbs.

 Origins of the Botanical Garden
Illustration© Rmn-Grand Palais, Paris 2017
The “enclosed garden” underwent a major change during the Renaissance. Plants that were cultivated for practical use became objects of scientific study and were observed and collected extensively. In 1545 the first garden was created in Padua, colored by various plants discovered by explorers. Beautifully shaped and flourishing with rare plants, the garden offered new scenery for artists and stimulated their creative appetite.

Gardens Created by Artists, Gardeners and Landscape Artists
Beginning with the Pompei fresco believed to be the oldest depiction of a garden, extending to the paintings of Dürer, Monet, Cezanne and Picasso, the botanical specimens of Klee and an installation by the Japanese artist Koichi Kurita who collected soil from various locations, the fascinating exhibition allows the viewer to enjoy the diverse works related to the garden. There is also a garden created with dried samples of flower and fruit and a section that displays design plans for gardens.

Garden, until July 24 (Closed Tuesdays)

※ Curator Laurent Le Bon talks about the exhibition (Auto-translation available)
Grand Palais
3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower
75008 Paris, France
Opening times:

Sun, Mon, Thu 10:00-20:00
Wed, Fri, Sat 10:00-22:00