a landscape lover's blog

garden tales from a Brit abroad

400 years of Le Nôtre

Tuileries signThis year marks the 400th anniversary of the birth of André Le Nôtre, and the great designer is being honoured with an exhibition at the Tuileries in Paris and at events throughout France.

I am pleased to be celebrating the anniversary with an article in the Journal of the Garden History Society.

ghsTitled “Recollections and Hopes,” the article explores the history of the Le Nôtre gardens at Vaux le Vicomte, southeast of Paris – not through plans and layouts and analysis of physical changes, but through people’s personal memories and impressions of the gardens over time.

The article argues that preserving people’s recollections of a garden is just as important as conserving its physical properties; indeed, as John Dixon Hunt has declared, given the propensity of all gardens to change and ultimately disappear, chronicling our responses to them “becomes the only true form of historic preservation.”

For those who have not been to Vaux, I would urge you to go – and add to the memories and associations of this magical place.

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6 comments on “400 years of Le Nôtre

  1. Greetings from Amsterdam! If I have time I will use your suggestion. Congrats!

  2. Of Gardens
    July 26, 2013

    That the world is celebrating Le Notre 400 years after his birth is testament to his enduring style. I look forward to reading your article.

  3. little blog of happy
    July 27, 2013

    Vaux le Vicomte is well worth the visit.

  4. Donna@Gardens Eye View
    July 29, 2013

    Another place I will add to my must visit list!

  5. diversifolius
    July 29, 2013

    Interesting post and thanks for the links – I will try to read the past Journals on-line. A different view, but I agree with it; great people also remain in the history mostly through the memories and photos of the ones who knew and remember them.

  6. maggie
    August 2, 2013

    Oh, to be there.
    Your subject reminded me of one bleary late night of reading for a landscape history course a paragraph that included “…until Le Notre threw down his axes…” and I thought wait–why is he carrying axes around? Is he chopping things?
    It took some time before the penny dropped.

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This entry was posted on July 25, 2013 by in France outside Paris, Gardens, History and tagged , , .

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