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Virginia Tuttle Clayton
Gardens on Paper explores the garden theme in works of art on paper, including 15th-century codices, early engravings, drawings, books, and topographical plans, as well as through images of allegorical, secular, and even imaginary gardens. The graphic arts have been a major vehicle for the wide dissemination of information about gardens, both recording and forming taste in garden design. As direct reflections of commonly held cultural preoccupations, printed images are particularly accurate informants on historical views and tastes in gardens. This catalog examines the evolution of symbols, themes, and styles in the artistic representation of gardens. Although the history of garden design constantly figures in the interpretation of works included in this survey, it is the graphic work of art, rather than the horticultural work of art portrayed therein, that is of primary interest in this catalog.