Mirrors of Infinity: French Formal Garden and 17th-century Metaphysics

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9781568980508: Mirrors of Infinity: French Formal Garden and 17th-century Metaphysics
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From the Japanese Zen Garden to Andr Le Notre's Versailles, the history of landscape reveals that every garden embodies a philosophy. Focusing on the metaphysics, aesthetics, and theology of the seventeenth century, Allen Weiss's analysis offers new insight into the major gardens of this period: Vaux-le-Vicomte, Chantilly, and Versailles.

From the Meditations of Descartes and Pascal's Penss, to the intrigues of court politics, Weiss reveals how the structure of these gardens reflects—sometimes literally—the power of Louis XIV, the relationship between God, King, sun, and infinity, and the new science of optics. Weiss's sophisticated yet highly readable text combines contemporary theory with a careful historical reading. He gives us a richer understanding of gardens than allowed in more traditional formal and stylistic analyses.

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What gives this book its intensity and subtle dynamism is the imaginary potential of these gardens...their reserve of desires and passion. ANY

Synopsis:

Originally published as Miroirs de l'Infini: Le Jardin a la Francaise et la MTtaphysique au XVII SiFcle by +ditions du Seuil, 1992. 5.5x9". Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

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