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Hanging Gardens in the Princely Capitals of Rajasthan and in Renaissance Italy -- Sacred Space, Earthly Paradise, Secular Ritual

Title:Hanging Gardens in the Princely Capitals of Rajasthan and in Renaissance Italy -- Sacred Space, Earthly Paradise, Secular Ritual
Author:Pieper, Jan
Publication:Marg
Enumeration:Vol. 39 Issue no. 1, p. 69-90
Abstract:Italian literature reflects a fascination for a structure known as the hanging garden -- with trees which do not take root in the ground but stand instead in artificially raised gardens, on multistoriesed substructures or on the roofs and upper terraces of functional buildings. The particular aesthetic charm of such a structure lies in the ambiguity of its nature as a cross between flora and architecture, in which the antitheses of art and nature appear to merge. Historical and biblical references to hanging gardens, as well as their importance in Italian architecture and literature are discussed. In the East, hanging gardens remained an attribute of royal power well into modern times. The multi-tiered mountain with paradises and trees of happiness seems to be the conceptual model of many of the Indian hanging gardens. Most of them were built as architectural requisites of royal centres, but not necessarily as a backdrop to secular power. Some were merely laid out as an evocation of the earthly paradise and definitely would serve worldly pleasures. Maunbari in Ajmer and the hanging garden at Bari Mahal, Udaipur, both in the state of Rajasthan, are discussed here.

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