Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Our Versailles gardens are better than yours

Generally speaking, our (Le Nôtre) is better than yours (Le Vôtre) and if you don't believe me you should go read this book written by a cool psychology professor from Harvard. But Versailles already knew that, ages before Daniel Gilbert, and, to prove it, it organizes with great pomp this year the L'année Le Nôtre (The Le Nôtre year).

Exhibitions, colloquies, spectacles, prizes and much more will come celebrate the 400th anniversary of the birth of Monsieur Le Nôtre. So who was this Le Nôtre and what did he do better than anyone else? He was the most famous landscape designer of the Grand Siècle (the Great Century) and, of course, he designed the famous gardens of the Versailles Castle in what later became known as the à la française (French) style.

The main principle that follows a French style garden is that human intelligence and knowledge and physical power in particular can transform the nature at its will and the fearful destruction forces of the nature will have to obey the human master. That's why the French style garden is an endless succession of disciplined (and sometimes quite ridiculously looking) trees and bushes: because they have obeyed! A treetop in shape of a cube? Done! The whole alley of trees with the same shape? No problem!! A pyramid bush? Easy!!! The nature becomes a green empty canvas waiting for the genius human artist to create a masterpiece, with complicate perspective calculations, intricate designs and carefully staged dynamic.

It doesn't matter who will have the last laugh, the 'here' and the 'now' prevails.

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