Finally turned the Subaru in to some random autobody shop off Bel-Red Road that Farmer’s picked out. There was a minor debacle, but the rental car they finally gave us is an 2008 Subaru Impreza sedan… I’ll put it this way: I’m surprised it has power windows/locks. Anyway, went straight from the rental agency to my doctor’s office, then home, then class.
Our landscape architecture course discussed Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte, two of the most spectacular 18th C French Gardens, which embody a unique development in both the arts and science: infinity and optical planning.
With Versailles, the long N/S axis which extends across the flat plain (or plane), incorporating an innovative new approach to landscape design: elevation of the vanishing point such that it is no longer within the bounds of the garden, but instead floats somewhere above horizon line. In doing this, the central vista disappears into the distance, implying an infinite reach and, furthermore, that this land ‘as far as the eye can see’ is part of Louis XIV’s kingdom. In any case, as amazing as Versailles may be, Vaux-le-Vicomte is infinitely (pun only half-intended) more impressive: instead of relying on simply on the infinite vista, Le Notre et al crafted a complex optical field which employs both artificial foreshortening, optical ‘jumps’ which alternately make the chateau look bigger/smaller, closer/farther away, etc. causing your vision to leap great distances (making the Hercules appear closer), but also magnifying the Chateau at various points so that it appears to be just past that parterre or over the lake.
In any case, got our midterms back (94% — not including the 10 extra credit points, which would put me over 100% whoo!) and drove home with Alanagh — we made it home alive, and we’re taking the car in tomorrow. Wish me luck!
(oh, and the title? References a pair of fountains in Le Notre’s labyrinth at Versailles)