What are the open spaces? It’s simple, they’re here

Draft for Versailles' Northern Parterre,
by Pierre II Desgots, Atelier Le Nôtre

This parterre designed by André Le Nôtre and drawn by one of his closest assistants, Pierre II Desgots, shows a much more ambitious hydraulic project, which was never carried out. 17th century, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.

Topiary models,
in "Décoration intérieure et de jardins de Versailles et autres endroits",
Anonymous

Topiary art consists in forming and pruning bushes to create a sort of plant sculptures. This art, which was first practised by the Romans, came back into fashion during the Renaissance. This fondness for topiary displays lasted throughout the 17th century. They were an integral part of formal gardens. Le Nôtre multiplied topiary forms and created new ones, making it a full-fledged art. Early 18th century, Palace of Versailles.

Les découverts
ROOM N°6

From the end of the 16th century, the open spaces, essentially made up of the parterres, were given special consideration concerning their size, shape and décor, the need for overlooking terraces, and the layout of the plants which composed them. While applying them, Le Nôtre changed both the conception and function of the parterres. On the one hand, he gave less importance to the plants than to the overall design they formed. On the other, in addition to an ornamental function, he gave the parterres a structural role to give rhythm to the perspectives, effect transitions or create specific atmospheres.

Crédits

© Stockholm, Nationalmuseum
© RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Philipp Bernard

Open spaces

Draft for Versailles' Northern Parterre,
by Pierre II Desgots, Atelier Le Nôtre
This parterre designed by André Le Nôtre and drawn by one of his closest assistants, Pierre II Desgots, shows a much more ambitious hydraulic project, which was never carried out. 17th century, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.

ROOM N°6

From the end of the 16th century, the open spaces, essentially made up of the parterres, were given special consideration concerning their size, shape and décor, the need for overlooking terraces, and the layout of the plants which composed them. While applying them, Le Nôtre changed both the conception and function of the parterres. On the one hand, he gave less importance to the plants than to the overall design they formed. On the other, in addition to an ornamental function, he gave the parterres a structural role to give rhythm to the perspectives, effect transitions or create specific atmospheres.