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Title: Gesture and performance : Princess Izabela Czartoryska and her gardens, 1770-1831
Author: Whelan, A.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis explores the idea of gardens as performance-based works of art, as sites that drew their relevance from the stylized behaviour that was enacted there in the form of arranged spectacles, plays and tableaux vivants. The analysis is based on the study of two gardens created by Princess Izabela Czartoryska: Powązki near Warsaw (1770-1794) and Puławy (1784-1831) near Lublin. These gardens are among the most celebrated ‘English’ landscape gardens in Poland. They are considered here as spaces that reacted to contemporary historical events through the adaptation of the visual imagery of the second half of the eighteenth century and participated in the reinvention of traditional Polish culture. The stylized events in the gardens are shown as forms of social interactions, willingly performed by guests to the gardens. This thesis also investigates the changing roles which Princess Izabela chose for herself and visualized in her gardens and how these personas evolved in the progression from Powązki to Puławy. By reconstructing the designs and the narrative programmes I argue that that the process of interactions did not fundamentally change over the sixty years of Czartoryska’s gardening, that the two gardens shared a remarkable unity of ideas and form, and that the garden-based culture of leisure was paramount in transmitting a variety of social, historical and aesthetic ideas. These ranged from models of education, through the collection of artefacts for her museum, to the promotion of the relationships of attachment as a nationally unifying bond. My analysis substantially alters the established view on the history of these two gardens and proposes a new perspective for them, as works of art based in the rhetoric of land, gesture and performance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available