This symposium will present and allow discussion of the uses and forms of appreciation of gardens created in state societies that called upon the arts to inspire awe and deference to monarchs among their subjects. Such garden politics were conducted in China and Europe, albeit differently according to time and place, thus demanding critical comparisons. This approach will allow us to discuss the conditions under which baroque garden politics spread in Europe, to see how they impacted the creation of some gardens and were ignored in others, and to observe how different modes of reception of baroque garden forms deflected their political intentions, in China and in Europe. We shall also see how later visitors have made sense of these gardens.
This will enable the participants to contrast the meanings of baroque gardens from the point of view of their creators, their guests, and their unanticipated visitors. It may encourage discussions of the contribution of iconographic studies to studies of garden reception, and debates about the general deference to baroque discourse in garden histories to the present day.