Thursday, February 21, 2013

Gardens and Politics | Free Talk at MFU

I am giving a talk for the Melbourne Free University next week on Gardens and Politics in history. See the blurb below. It is free to attend and a very relaxed atmosphere and I encourage people to come along and enjoy a glass of wine and join in the discussion.

It is next Tuesday 26th February at 6:30pm (the MFU website here). Details about the venue and other talks in the series are also here.
Katrina Grant | Gardens and Politics in the Early Modern Era 
The way that nature has been shaped into landscapes and gardens has often been a political act that aimed to promote a personal or national identity. Gardens are symbols of a society’s attitude to nature and to the social order (for instance, who is allowed in and who is not). Political messages are often woven through the landscapes of gardens when they are created and changing attitudes can see landscapes reworked to reflect new power structures and new political realities. Too often as modern visitors we are not given any sense of this, with gardens presented simply as pleasurable and/or grandiose. In this talk I will present the political side of a number of sixteenth- to eighteenth-century European gardens from France, Italy and the UK.

Some images of a few of the gardens that I will be talking about are below.

Temple of British Worthies

The Temple of Ancient Virtue

Fireworks at Versailles

View of Versailles by Pierre Patel c. 1668

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