Sunday, January 8, 2017

Before Public Gardens & Parks - 16C & 17C Elites taking a Tour of Local Gardens

Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Promenading in a Garden Park Setting

Outdoor spaces were the scene of amusements & recreation at local inns & taverns in the centuries before more dignified commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. Before the advent of commercial gardens, elites usually gathered together in more elegant private gardens. For recreation, elites also enjoyed promenading, especially in a public place, to meet other elites or to be seen & admired by others. Commercial public pleasure gardens & grounds became places to meet folks from a broader spectrum of society's classes including elites, neighbors, & travelers passing through - to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.  

Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) also known as Luis de Koller, Luis de Kaulleri, Louis de Coulery, specialized in genre, allegory, architecture, & landscape painting.  Like many Flemish artists of the period, he had traveled to & worked in Italy. A circle of like-minded artists gathered around him in Antwerp, painting scenes of banquets, balls, carnivals, & other celebrations often in gardens. The architecture & the parterres of the gardens are precisely drawn, often in skillfully telescoped perspective.