The Garden of the Museum Rubens House


Prologue

 

 

Behind the massive oak gate, a world of rich, early 17th century tranquillity is waiting for the visitor. There is the courtyard with its beautiful baroque portico and the white cobblestone pavement. Rubens' house is on the left side, while his studio is on the right. In spite of overall alterations, the front of the impressive portico is genuine in all its detailing. The walls of the house are covered by the heavenly blue of a more than 50 years old wisteria.

Entering through one of the three gates in the portico visitors will discover the garden and its many features. The central opening in the portico guides the view to the end of the garden, where the authentic garden pavilion in the central axe hosts a replica of the famous Hercules Farnese. On both sides of the central axe low yew hedges form squared parterres. Four ornamental wooden wickets give access to the flowerbeds.

The garden displays a profusion of flowers and fruits, all known in the 17th century. Three more features have a specific charm: the beautiful wooden tunnel in renaissance style covered with roses, clematis and honeysuckle, the authentic, gardener's lodge with its herb square and an 18th century round basin with a small orchard.

Garden and buildings were severely altered during the last 400 years. Much of what is visible today is in fact a historic evocation from 1937-1946, based on archaeological studies of the buildings, on the interpretation of the iconographical documents and on contemporary choices.