Garden design over the years has always tried to combine natural forms with subtle artifacts, the nostalgia of Eden has provided gardeners a tension towards a certain idea of perfection. Gardens are always created within an architectural background, we have few examples of gardens dissociated from the temple, the house of the god, from the palace. Venice 1499. Is published the first book dedicated to the art of garden design, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili , a strange book that is both a kind of novel. This book is accompanied by woodcuts that define a formal repertoire that will be use across the centuries, the temple with the pyramid, the tomb of Adonis, the herm of Priapus.
Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, called in English Poliphilo’s Strife of Love in a Dream, is a romance said to be by Francesco Colonna and a famous example of early printing. First published in Venice in 1499, with refined woodcut illustrations in an Early Renaissance style, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili presents a mysterious arcane allegory in which Poliphilo pursues his love Polia through a dreamlike landscape, and is, seemingly, at last reconciled with her by the Fountain of Venus. The book begins with Poliphilo, who has spent a restless night because his beloved, Polia (literally “Many Things”), shunned him. Poliphilo is transported into a wild forest, where he gets lost, encounters dragons, wolves and maidens and a large variety of architecture, escapes, and falls asleep once more.