The medieval enclosed garden is something of a commonplace. Outside of scholarship on specific sites, much discussion on the enclosed garden tends to focus on the timeworn literary tropes that such spaces evoke: the hortus conclusus, paradise, locus amoenus, plaisance, garden of love, etc. Often this is framed within a teleological narrative that posits the medieval garden’s enclosure as the antithesis to the expansive scope and humanist references of gardens of the Renaissance and beyond. Very little discussion focuses on how medieval gardens were actually used and experienced within the larger spaces where they were situated. Focusing on actual sites, contemporary accounts, as well as the evidence provided by art of the period, this paper explores how the late medieval garden was used as both a frame for Valois, Burgundian and Hapsburg rulership and as an emblem of identity.
Margaret Goehring is an Associate Professor of Art History at New Mexico State University (Las Cruces, NM) and is a specialist on late medieval and Renaissance manuscript illumination and painting in France, the Netherlands and Belgium. She has published several articles on Franco-Flemish manuscript painting, and is also the author of the book, Space, Place & Ornament: The Functions of Landscape in Medieval Manuscript Illumination (2014) as well as co-editor of Dressing the Part: Textiles as Propaganda in the Middle Ages (2015). Currently she is working on a monograph on the late medieval landscapes and gardens that were created by Valois, Burgundian and Hapsburg rulers. In addition to Medieval and Renaissance art, she also teaches American Folk & Outsider Art, the Art of China and on theory/methodology.
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