barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


Nicolas de Son

Garden scene with courting couples 

Paris, 1615

Engraving

Paper: 187 x 269 mm; mount: 405 x 556 mm

 

The etching reproduces a design by the German artist Johan Liss, who worked in Italy between 1621 and 1630. the garden is a reflection of Arcadia, an idealised rural retreat popularised in 16th-century Italian poetry. Two couples stroll around a water feature in an enclosed formal garden, whilst an amorous pair embrace below. The lute, resting against the fountain, is a traditional symbol of lovers. The voyeuristic figure lurking in the shadows acts as a warning: innocence will be lost amidst frenetic youthful encounters. 

 

Purchases 1956 (No.56.6)

From the Director

The Barber during the COVID-19 closure period

Learn more

Covid–19 (Coronavirus)

Learn more

Philip Galle (1537-1612)

The story of the Prodigal Son - The prodigal son leaving his father’s house

Learn more

Philip Galle (1537-1612)

The Story of the Prodigal Son - The Prodigal Son Squandering His Inheritance on Harlots

Learn more