12. Illusions of Grandeur

A Harmonious Garden for the Sun King

  1. Dan O'Brien PhD Research Fellow Associate Lecturer
  1. Robert Neuman PhD professor

Published Online: 13 AUG 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444324563.ch12

Gardening - Philosophy for Everyone

Gardening - Philosophy for Everyone

How to Cite

Neuman, R. (2010) Illusions of Grandeur, in Gardening - Philosophy for Everyone (ed D. O'Brien), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444324563.ch12

Editor Information

  1. Oxford Brookes University, UK

Author Information

  1. Florida State University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 AUG 2010
  2. Published Print: 24 SEP 2010

Book Series:

  1. Philosophy for Everyone

Book Series Editors:

  1. Fritz Allhoff

Series Editor Information

  1. Western Michigan University, USA

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444330212

Online ISBN: 9781444324563



  • cosmic garden;
  • illusions of grandeur - A Harmonious Garden for the Sun King;
  • French monarch Louis XIV, “Louisle-Grand” or “Louis the Great” – on the European political stage;
  • Louis XIV, inheritance of royal palaces and châteaux, the Louvre in Paris - lavishing attention on the old hunting lodge at Versailles;
  • art of gardening, status enjoyed - as in painting, sculpture, architecture, theatre, music and dance;
  • Louis XIV's principal architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart - and the circular white-marble arcade;
  • Hardouin-Mansart's circular temple and imperial villa – symbolic of the Temple of Apollo;
  • Colonnade, Versailles, with table fountains, circular water channel, spandrels and a keystone mask;
  • Hardouin-Mansart, synthesizing concepts of villa colonnade with peripteral temple colonnade - and Hadrian's circular water channel;
  • sculpture in Spandrel 16, the putti holding a lyre and panpipe - ancient legends, a comical contest between Apollo and the satyr Pan


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • A Temple of Apollo

  • Quoting the Roman Garden Villa

  • Harmonic Proportions

  • The Sculptural Program

  • Expanding the Theme of Harmony

  • Notes