Gardens. Heritage and dreams

From 2nd December to 4th June 2023

Headquarters of El legado andalusí Andalusian Public Foundation

Corral del Carbón. Calle Mariana Pineda s/n. Granada

The exhibition Gardens. Heritage and dreams has been organised by El legado andalusí Andalusian Public Foundation within the framework of iHeritage Project, ICT Mediterranean platform for UNESCO cultural heritage, which is co-financed by the European Union through the ENI CBC MED Programme. Curated by María Teresa Martín-Vivaldi and José Tito Rojo, the exhibition reflects on the values of the garden, as well as the numerous connections existing between European gardens, with special emphasis on the gardens of the heritage of al-Andalus and the Mediterranean.

The exhibition, which is housed at the Corral del Carbón, covering both the courtyard and the exhibition hall at the headquarters of the El legado andalusí Foundation, accommodates a wide range of elements, which despite their variety, dialogue perfectly with each other: real plants, works of art, photographs, archaeological objects, engravings, books… as well as modern technologies that show the most recent results of research on heritage sites.

Thus, in the courtyard of Corral del Carbón, four types of plants and crops that have historically identified various kinds of gardens are exhibited and explained: citrus trees, emblematic of the gardens of Europe; vines, an emblem in the Mediterranean gardens; myrtles, typical of the gardens of al-Andalus; and cypresses, essential in the gardens of Granada.

Before entering the main hall of the exhibition, two adjoining small rooms show two different visions employed to talk about gardens: from an imagined garden in six colourful paintings by María Teresa Martín-Vivaldi, to an evolution of the Generalife from the 16th to the 20th centuries in 3D using the most innovative technologies -holographic devices-, or a garden of al-Andalus based on the miniatures of a manuscript preserved in the Vatican Library (the story of Bayad and Riyad).

The main room of the exhibition recreates a garden area in which several aspects of it are shown: plants, water, gardeners, books written on them, works of art that they have inspired… Thus, the visitor will have the opportunity to contemplate magnificent pieces of art, from the magnificent basin of al-Hakam, probably built to adorn a garden in Madinat al-Zahra and which was transferred to Granada and kept until the 19th century in the Casa del Chapiz (today kept in the Archaeological Museum of Granada), to numerous paintings inspired by gardens, such as Arquitectura verde, by Santiago Rusiñol or Paseo de los Cipreses, by Manuel Ángeles Ortiz (now in the Fine Art Museum of Granada), plans like one of the Generalife drawn up in 1895 by Walter H. Kilham, beautiful photographs such as the Generalife in 1895 by Walter H. Kilham, or one of a gardener child in the Alcázar of Seville, (1885), or books such as the first edition of Andrea Navagero’s journey, in which he describes the gardens of the Generalife in great detail. The aim is that the visitor to the exhibition will be able to live and feel real and imaginary gardens, made of paper, stone, sound, described in books, in paintings, engravings or photographs…

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