Explore Renaissance gardens and their stories—from royal to humb le\, from scandalous to virtuous—in a widely-ranging exhibition of manuscri pt illumination.


Whether connected to grandiose villas or commo n kitchens\, gardens in the Renaissance (about 1400–1600) were planted and treasured by people in all levels of society. Some cultivated gardens for t he display and study of beautiful and rare plants\, while others did so for sustenance. Manuscript artists depicted gardens in a variety of texts\, an d their illustrations attest to the Renaissance spirit for the careful stud y of the natural world. In a society then dominated by the church\, gardens were also integral to a Christian visual tradition\, from the paradise of Eden to the enclosed green spaces associated with Mary and Christ. Gardens are cyclical and impermanent\; most planted during the Renaissance have cha nged or been lost. The objects in this exhibition offer a glimpse into how people at the time pictured\, used\, and enjoyed these idyllic green spaces .

The exhibition features over 20 manuscript illuminations\, a painting\, a drawing and a photograph from the Getty Museum's permanent col lection\, as well as loaned works from the Getty Research Institute and pri vate collectors James E. and Elizabeth J. Ferrell.

In this imag e of Bathsheba bathing in a fountain\, her sensuous nude figure seduces not only King David at the palace window but likely also the patron of the man uscript that contained this leaf\, King Louis XII of France (ruled 1498–151 5). The biblical story that inspired this image does not mention a garden\, but artists often placed Bathsheba in one because a garden was considered both a private space and a place of temptation. Louis XII employed Italian engineers to redesign gardens at his court\, making them conform to the Ren aissance principle of symmetry between palace and garden. In the illuminati on\, the artist differentiates spaces for the planting of herbs\, roses\, a nd a citrus grove\, all aspects one would expect to encounter in a royal ga rden.

LOCATION:Getty Center Los Angeles\,1200 Getty Drive \nLos Angeles\, CA 9004 9 SUMMARY:Gardens of the Renaissance END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTSTAMP:20180116T191927Z UID:271284 DTSTART:20130528T100000 DTEND:20130528T173000 LOCATION:Getty Center Los Angeles\,1200 Getty Drive \nLos Angeles\, CA 9004 9 SUMMARY:Gardens of the Renaissance END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR