Everything Gourmet

Armchair Traveling with The Gourmet Gazette: Glorious Gardens

Admiring blossoming poppies in Japan circa end of the 18th century during the Edo era. Admiration des pivoines en fleur Katsukawa Shuncho (act. 1780-1795) Japon, époque d’Edo (1603-1868), fin du 18e siècle, Estampe nishiki-e, 36,3 × 74,6 cmAchat (1960), MA 2362© RMN-Grand Palais (MNAAG, Paris) / Harry Bréjat

Paris, France — As Jeff Bezos takes us into space, The Gourmet Gazette humbly takes you on a journey into the singular world of the gardens of Asia. From Lahore to Kyoto, gardens in Asia have historically been an essential quest for harmony, a quest for the garden to be one with the sky. These are often spectacular creations, an idealized representation of nature. France’s National Museum of Asian Arts -The Guimet is hosting an exhibition devoted to these gardens through some 80 works emanating from the museum’s rich collection of Indian miniatures, engravings, photographs, textiles and ceramics. So if you can’t be in France right now, The Gourmet Gazette brings the show to you.

Porcelain brick depicting women in a garden dating from the Qing Dynasty in China, the reign of Kangxi, circa early 18th century. Brique à décor de femmes dans un jardin, scène tirée du Roman du pavillon de l’Ouest (Xixiang ji) ; encadrement en forme de grenade, Chine, fours de Jingdezhen, dynastie Qing (1644- 1911), règne de Kangxi (1662-1722), début du 18e siècle, Porcelaine à décor d’émaux sur couverte (« famille verte »)18,3 × 25,5 × 4,2 cm, Donation Ernest Grandidier (1894), G 5197 © RMN-Grand Palais (MNAAG, Paris) / Thierry Ollivier

There are gardens for Buddhist temples, for princes and emperors, for scholars of Confucianism, tea gardens, gardens dreamed up by poets. Climate, typological and geological differences abound opening up the opportunity for comparisons, but similarities as well. There is an iris emerging from a rock, ladies in Japan admiring the blossoming of peonies, a raja in his garden, it is an exhibition that takes the visitor into a celebration of the garden.

An engraving depicting an iris and a rock, China, circa 18th century. Iris et rocher, Chine, 18e siècle, Estampe sur papier, rehauts de couleurs27,7 × 33,5 cm, Achat (1948), ancienne collection Dubosc, MA 452 © RMN-Grand Palais (MNAAG, Paris) / Richard Lambert
The raja, Raj Singh of Chambra with his Rani or royal consort in his gardens at Rajnagar, circa end of the 18th century. Le raja Raj Singh de Chamba et sa rani dans les jardins de RajnagarInde, Chamba, vers 1790-1795Gouache et or sur papier 34 × 27 cmDon Émile Soldi Colbert (1905), dépôt du musée du Louvre au MNAAG, OA 6031© RMN-Grand Palais (MNAAG, Paris) / Thierry Ollivier

These are all enclosed gardens bringing together water and architecture through pavilions, fountains, rocks, mountains and vast perspectives hiding secretive pathways. The garden is an aesthetic experience, but a spiritual one, too. These are places to find harmony, diverse corners of paradise be they Moslem, Taoist or Buddhist. They have been depicted in Indian miniatures, long painted scrolls in China, miniaturized on trays in Japan and evoked on a diverse array of objects ranging from vases to textiles. The exhibition is being presented until September 20th
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
http://www.guimet.fr

Porcelain brick depicting colorful flowers and flying insects dating from the Qing Dynasty in China, the reign of Kangxi, circa early 18th century. Brique à décor de femmes dans un jardin, scène tirée du Roman du pavillon de l’Ouest (Xixiang ji) ; encadrement en forme de grenade, Chine, fours de Jingdezhen, dynastie Qing (1644- 1911), règne de Kangxi (1662-1722), début du 18e siècle, Porcelaine à décor d’émaux sur couverte (« famille verte »)18,3 × 25,5 × 4,2 cm, Donation Ernest Grandidier (1894), G 5197 © RMN-Grand Palais (MNAAG, Paris) / Thierry Ollivier
Perhaps one of the most famous gardens of them all in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Agra, le Taj Mahal, Samuel Bourne (1834-1912) Inde, 1863-1870, Épreuve sur papier albuminé, 23,2 × 29,2 cm Fonds ancien, AP 15423© MNAAG, Paris, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / image musée Guimet

Categories: Everything Gourmet

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