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A different reading of works of art: What the pictures from the National Gallery say about gardens and parks



A publication on gardens and parks at the intersection of art history and botany has been published

From Vaupotica’s Path in Tivoli to Josip Germ’s Lady in Black. The pictures of the National Gallery also tell a lot about the development of gardens and parks. They are presented in the publication Gardens and Parks, prepared by the gallery in cooperation with the Volčji Potok Arboretum.

With the book, they continue the collaboration that they started in 2018, when it is The National Gallery celebrated one hundred years. This it is translated into a book in 2021 Flowers and womennow it’s their turn Gardens and Parksand she will succeed her The message of flowers in the paintings of the National Gallery. The new publication differs from the previous one in that it also contains images that are presented to the public for the first time, it is said the director of the gallery at the presentation Barbara Jaki.

The publication, which sheds light on the development of garden and park design from the 18th to the 20th century at the intersection of art history and botany with descriptions and texts, presents 24 pictures from the collection of the National Gallery. They were researched interdisciplinary by two art historians Jasmine Marian and botanist Matjaž Mastnak.

Jasmine Marijan says that the already published book and the upcoming one, which he and Mastnak will call The Communication of Flowers in the Pictures of the National Gallery, are an opportunity for unconventional reading works of art, which at the same time gives us an insight into history.

The gardens were created when we started to enclose the property with fences for the production of the bare essentials. “With the emergence of the first great civilizations, members of the social elite began to create gardens for aesthetic purposes, and parallel to this, depictions of gardens were also created, which were a reflection of the social, historical and aesthetic framework in which the gardens were designed,” he writes about the development of gardens in the publication.

Later, especially during industrialization, it is due to growing urbanization, “there was a need to connect the slechernik with nature, which is provided by parks as the green heart of the city”, it is written by Barbara Jaki in the foreword. About the importance of Tivoli in Ljubljana it is for example, it can be read next to the picture Path in Tivoli Ivan Vaupotica.

According to Mastnak, in addition to intimate and public parks and gardens, the publication also wrote about the landscape and historical development of spa parks, which it is in the 19 century visited mainly by the wealthy bourgeoisie from abroad. One of the pictures that captures this piece of history it is picture The lady in black Josip Germ.

Carefully arranged spa parks were key to the development of horticulture in Slovenia. Their aesthetics it is encouraged gardeners, landscapers and botanists to dedicate themselves to the art of arranging gardens in Slovenia. Namely, the subscribers continued until 1947, when it is horticulture school was founded, relying mainly on gardeners and botanists from the Czech Republic.

Ivan Vavpotič, Path in Tivoli, (ca. 1925), oil on canvas, 112 x 80 cm.  Photo: National Gallery

The plants in the pictures carry a message of time, space and symbolic meaning, which the two co-authors will explore in the upcoming publication. They already predicted the symbolism in the first book, but they it is researching the rich collection of the National Gallery inspired further, deeper research into contents that are invisible at first glance.

“Institutions in the public interest must cooperate,” it is said the director of the Volčji Potok Arboretum on this occasion Ales Ocepek and reminded that they first connected with the National Gallery on its 100th anniversary. anniversaries in 2018. As a sign of celebration, reproductions of paintings from the collection of the National Gallery, supplemented with short art-historical and botanical-horticultural explanations, were exhibited at the entrance alley in the Arboretum.

According to the directors, both the exhibition and the book received many positive responses, which they did it is encouraged to once again support the collaboration of the co-authors of the first publication.

Source: Rtvslo

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