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2009 | 34 | 171-198
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THE GARDEN OF ARTIST, POET, THINKER. THE TERRITORY OF CREATION (Ogród artysty, poety, mysliciela. Terytorium tworzenia)

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The garden of the 'artist's house' (artistically created home of a writer, painter, or musician) could be examined in the categories of gardening history, searching for references to typical models or solutions. We know of the influence of gardens of various artists on the solutions introduced in the art of gardening (for instance Alexander Pope or William Shenstone). More often gardens of this type are governed by rules of individual creativity, they have no specific traits and as a rule they do not belong to the history of gardening. From antiquity through Renaissance a garden brought to mind meditation and creation. More than a house it would be the figure/prefiguration of a place of creation and the product of a creation act. It is this role it plays in the 'Mémoires d'Outre-Tombe' by Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand and numerous comments by other writers. Garden as a 'microcosm' makes us redefine the notion of creation. Some of the 'gardening acts' elude thinking in the categories of gardening object. Garden as a place of important rituals can be found especially in the communes from the turn of the 19th and 20th century. Such kind of 'gardening acts' in their anthropological dimension are of crucial importance for understanding the character of the place of creation and the whole artistic activity of an artist. Regardless its size, form, relation to the artist's home, the garden is given a special assent. An artist's grave in his garden should be considered in the same categories. For Carl Linnaeus, Buffon, Voltaire, Goethe, later on also for John Ruskin, gardens were a testing ground in various fields of their scientific and artistic creativity. Claude Monet's creation at Giverny was developed in two inseparable orders: a garden 'was growing for' a painting. Around the same time, yet with no Monet's consistency, made their own gardens and then painted them also Jozef Mehoffer, Max Liebermann, HeinrichVogeler, Edward Atkinson Hornel, or Emil Nolde. The history of gardening as the element of a representative place of artist's residence could be presented in the categories of the history of gardening forms as well as a social history of art. This function is served by gardens in the residences of Peter Paul Rubens, Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, Charles Le Brun, and then later of Franz von Lenbach, Vincenzo Vela, Richard Wagner. Drawing upon the models from the 16th through the 18th centuries, Francis Poulenc, Edmond Rostand and Edith Wharton made their own gardens, nevertheless, with reference to their main field of creativity. A theme of Italian Renaissance inspirations belongs to the most important research tracks to follow when interested in the gardens of the 19th- and 20th-century artists. A 'locus amoenus' could have assumed the form of microcosm, full of personal or historical associations, relating to the interests of the artist. The gardens of Gabriele d'Annuzio, Axel Munthe, Anders Zorn, Vicente Blasco Ibanez became mainstays of private history of culture, characteristic of post-romantic trends.
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  • Andrzej Pienkos, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Instytut Historii Sztuki, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28, 00-927 Warszawa, Poland
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