Dutch Baroque Gardens

Honselaarsdijk © British Library

Honselaarsdijk © British Library

The British Library is making some  of its most important books available online with its Turning the Pages technology. The first garden book in the series was published as Tonneel van Nederlandse Lusthooven which translates as The Theatre of Dutch Pleasure Gardens.  There are high-resolution colour imges and accompanying audio. It is a brilliant production. But the title  Dutch Baroque Gardens is questionable. France was the country which set the standard for High Baroque gardens and the examples in this book have a different character. A Dutch friend suggested the classification Dutch Classical Garden for the style of Honselaarsdijk – and I think he had a very fair point. It is unlike Versailles – and if Baroque is ‘the style of the Counter-Reformation’ then it is not very appropriate for such a Protestant country as Holland.

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