Le promeneur dans le jardin : de la promenade considérée comme acte esthétique. Regard sur les jardins de Versailles

Catherine Szanto 1
1 AMP - Architecture, milieu, paysage
LAVUE - Laboratoire Architecture, Ville, Urbanisme, Environnement
Abstract : Recently there has been a new awareness among garden historians of the importance of movement in shaping the experience of a garden. Indeed, the garden exists for its visitors only inasmuch as its spaces have been discovered, sensed, “lived”. The garden is the garden explored. Promenade – a leisurely walk with no other end than itself – is thus a privileged activity to study spatial experience. Despite historians' awareness of an itinerary through the gardens devised by Louis XIV himself, Versailles has hardly been studied as a place for promenade. In my thesis I look at the experiential potential of the gardens of Versailles by combining 17th century descriptions of promenades in the garden and a phenomenological description of spatial experience corroborated by recent physiological research on perception. Thus, our ability to move defines the structures of the spatio-temporal modes of „here” and „there”. Through the changes or continuity in specific sensory experiences that occur as we move, the garden offers the possibility for heightened experiences of ‘here' – views, objects, spaces seen on axis - and ‘there' – distant views and objects that appear reachable. But more subtly, the garden can accompany the transition from the fulfillment of being ‘here' to the desire of going ‘there' and thus enrich our motion itself. Space is here conceived not as a backdrop that we see as we move, but as an invitation to motion, as a spatial dialogue taking the shape of a promenade. The richness of this dialogue in Versailles comes from the complexity of the choices offered to the promeneur, allowing one to build through time a meaningful aesthetic experience of the garden.
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Catherine Szanto. Le promeneur dans le jardin : de la promenade considérée comme acte esthétique. Regard sur les jardins de Versailles. domain_other. Université Paris VIII Vincennes-Saint Denis, 2009. Français. ⟨tel-00537912⟩

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