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Gardens of the Renaissance

Bryan C. Keene

Whether part of a grand villa or an extension of a common kitchen, gardens in the Renaissance were planted and treasured in all reaches of society. Illuminated manuscripts of the period offer a glimpse into how people at the time pictured, used, and enjoyed these idyllic green spaces. Drawn from a wide range of works in the Getty Museum’s permanent collection, this gorgeously illustrated volume explores gardens on many levels, from the literary Garden of Love and the biblical Garden of Eden to courtly gardens of the nobility, and reports on the many activities—both reputable and scandalous—that took place there. 

This handsomely designed book was published on the occasion of an exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum May 28 to August 11, 2013. 

Bryan C. Keene (he/él/they/elle) is assistant professor of art history at Riverside City College and a former associate curator of manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum. He specializes in codex cultures of a global Middle Ages and fantasy medievalisms.

“A fine blend of text and image […]. A look back in time, yet also an inspiration for the future.”
—Foreword Reviews

“Vines wind through the page borders and the Virgin Mary seeks tranquility amid flowers. Members of the nobility wander through plantings admiring their possessions. These images enable the reader to explore varied gardens in the Renaissance, catching details and scenes long vanished.”
—Chicago Botanic Garden

“Stupendously illustrated with paintings, pages from prayer-books, photos, drawings and schematics.”
—Book News


88 pages
7 x 8 inches
64 color illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-143-5

Getty Publications
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum