[In the words of the author, as far as the harmonious relationship between man and nature is concerned,] the traditional Chinese garden is an artistic synthesis of architecture, rockery, water, and horticulture that exudes idyllic sentiments and picturesque fascinations. Though rockery and water are set out by man, they must look like wrought by nature. . . . The value of rockery is borne in its veins, and that of a stream or pond lies in its headwater; only when the veins and the headwater are interconnected can the entire garden come to dynamic life. . . . [And with regard to the relationship between the traditional Chinese garden and man's artistic sentiments and pursuits, it should be noted that] the gardens made by the literati-officials, most of whom were proficient in poetry and prose and could paint and sing, were inevitably rooted in their shared ideals or feelings. . . . Imbued with allusions to poetry and prose, their gardens achieve oneness with literature by means of inscribed horizontal boards and vertical couplets, as well as records and colophons on classical paintings. That is why whenever a visitor steps into such a garden, he feels as if he were rambling the realms of poetry and painting. He may improvise a poem on the spot if he is highly attained in literature, and depict the garden's scenery with freewheeling brush strokes in the late Ming tradition if he is a painter. All this . . . has happened to every educated visitor to such a garden.
Features & Benefits
- The first sizeable English edition of writings garnered from the distinguished late Professor Chen Congzhou's encyclopedic oeuvre on traditional Chinese gardens.
- Provides a comprehensive coverage and critical analysis of the history, art, and architecture of traditional Chinese gardens through the eyes of a leading Chinese garden historian and landscape architect who spent his whole lifetime conserving and restoring historic gardens in China.
- The main contents are divided into two parts, Theory and Practice.
- Contains more than 80 beautiful photos featuring the most famous and classical Chinese gardens.
- Fourth title in the "Chinese Architecture Series".