The charming garden follies of pre-Revolutionary France, spanning 150 years and the reigns of four monarchs, are today known almost exclusively to scholars.
Imaginative creations of France's greatest architects and eloquent symbols of their era, they were built for the pleasure of the Bourbon kings and their courts.
Many of these buildings have been destroyed or severely altered and the only records that survive are the drawings, engravings, architectural plans, and, more rarely, paintings of the period.
Bernd H. Dams and Andrew Zega have made a major contribution to our knowledge of these structures in a magnificent collection of contemporary watercolor renderings based on rigorous scholarship and architectural precision depicting the most significant examples of garden architecture built in France from the 1630s to the Revolution.
Their lively and informative text, which combines architectural history with fascinating insights and amusing anecdotes, brings these remarkable buildings and the vanished world that created them vividly to life.
Each folly is the subject of a chapter in which the authors' watercolors are supplemented by portraits of architects and patrons, paintings, drawings, plans, elevations, and interior views.
Examined chronologically, they provide a delightful perspective on the history of French garden design from the Italianate influences of the late Renaissance to the exoticism of the decades preceding the Revolution.
Moving through political, social, and garden history, readers will discover the unique world of charm and pleasure that was cultivated in France for nearly two centuries.
This exquisitely designed book, which includes a visitor's guide
to the follies that may still be seen today, is certain to enchant architects,
historians, landscape designers, and garden lovers.
Bernd Dams & Andrew Zega