Please join us in welcoming Emmanuel Ducamp, lauded art historian, attorney, and author, for a discussion on garden design from Western Europe to Imperial Russia. It is no surprise, as the newly built Russian capital city of St Petersburg was to be “a window on to Europe” that it would also benefit from West European garden design. Perhaps the best known example is that of Peterhof, on the Finland Gulf, where Peter the Great had cascades and water features copied from those he had seen and been impressed with during his visit of Versailles and Marly in May 1717. These precise albums of plans and views were presented to Peter Ist by the Duc d’Antin, Surintendant des Bâtiments du roi, on the occasion of his visit, or simply by drawing French talents to come and work in distant Russia with enticing salaries. Throughout the eighteenth century, the process will repeat itself, would it be in the Imperial gardens of Peterhof, Tsarskoie Selo and Pavlovsk, or in private ones, such as that of Gachina, designed for Count Grigori Orlov, favourite of Catherine the Great, by two English gardeners called in from Britain. Ducamp’s presentation will thus stress how Western sources were copied in Russia, often to find themselves adapted and reinterpreted according to local customs, climate necessities, or distinctive taste, forming altogether a new tradition which has been preserved to this day. This event is in person and ticketed – tickets are $10 for CLS members and $15 for guests.
About the Author:
An Art historian and lawyer by training, Emmanuel Ducamp started his career as a specialist of French Decorative Arts, soon extending it to foreign countries such as Russia and Germany. He has been traveling to Russia for more than thirty years, working extensively with Russian curators to create a series of books on Russian palaces and parks, the Decorative Arts or Works of Art from Russian collections. In this capacity, he was a co-curator for the exhibition “Artistic Lyxury : Fabergé – Tiffany – Lalique” organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art and the San Francisco Legion of Honour (2009). He recently devoted his teaching at the Ecole du Louvre on Russian palaces and German royal residences, focusing it not only on décor and architecture, but including the study of their surrounding parks, gardens and pavilions. His interest in this subject was sparked by the celebrated French park “Le Bois des Moutiers”, in Normandy, on the board of which he sat for many years, and on which he published a book with the French publishing house Flammarion. He currently sits on the board of the Société des Amateurs de Jardins in Paris, and is a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Institute for Gardens and Landscapes.
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