DE LETH, Hendrik (1703-1766)
Het zegenpralend Kennemerland, vertoont in 100 heerlyke Gezichten van de voornaamste Lustplaetzen, Adelykehuizen, Doren Stedegebouwen
Amsterdam: Jan Roman, [c.1729-1732]. 2 parts in 1 volume; folio. (16 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches). Pt 1: (8) + 24p; Pt 2: (2) + 18p. With engraved folding map, and 100 engraved views and plans.
Bound to style in 18th-century calf and marble paper boards
Descriptions and illustrations of 40 magnificent Dutch villas and gardens
The Kennemerlant pleasure houses, idyllic country retreats beloved by Amsterdam's affluent bourgeoisie, boast remarkable gardens influenced by the Dutch Régence style. With their emergence circa 1720, these gardens have gradually evolved, incorporating natural elements that surpass the rigid French-inspired layouts of earlier periods. In a captivating compilation of views and plans, this compendium showcases the splendor of approximately 40 estates nestled north of Haarlem. Marquette, Meerestein, Velzer-beek, Waterlant, Biezenvelt, Papenburg, Spyk, Duin-en-Berg, Velzerhooft, and Uit den Bosch, while an engraved map deftly pinpoints their geographical locations. Dutch and French captions lend linguistic finesse to the visual opulence, while the main text succinctly recounts the historical narrative of each edifice and its ownership. Although the houses themselves exhibit an understated charm, it is their gardens that command attention. These meticulously designed landscapes boast grass parterres, serene water basins, meandering pathways, and imposing hedges trimmed to perfection. Beyond the borders of these estates, the outer perimeters beckon with vignettes of village life, canals, pastoral scenes featuring grazing animals, and the remnants of long-forgotten grand mansions. Such juxtapositions of artistry and rustic allure imbue the surroundings with a beguiling harmony. Two estates, in particular, stand out for their groundbreaking innovation. Waterlant, constructed around 1720, heralds the advent of the picturesque garden, a concept lauded in the esteemed Oxford Companion to Gardens. Waterlant's audacious design takes the form of a labyrinth, where meandering allées reveal surprises at every turn. Among these delightful features are a camera obscura projecting moving images of boats serenely gliding on a nearby lake and a Turkish tent, evoking a sense of exoticism. Equally striking is the domain of Duin-en-Berg, dating back to approximately 1730. This estate's asymmetrical plan within a geometric framework defies convention, harmoniously embracing the natural landscape. By seamlessly incorporating the undulating North Sea sand dunes into its design, Duin-en-Berg celebrates the breathtaking beauty of its surroundings, creating a picturesque backdrop that accentuates its allure. This beautifully illustrated work invites admirers to immerse themselves in the refined elegance of the Kennemerlant pleasure houses. Its pages unfold a journey through time, where the intricate interplay of architecture, horticulture, and nature weaves a tapestry of beauty and sophistication.
Berlin Katalog 2246(8); Millard, Northern European 9; Thieme Becker XXIII.138; Oxford Companion to Gardens, "Netherlands" , "Waterland" , "Duin-en-Berg"; see also, Anna G. Bienfait, Oude Hollandsche Tuinen, 1943, pp181-194, plates 234, 243-259.