Garden pavilion with pergola on the foreground © Beeldarchief Collectie Antwerpen
We no longer know what Rubens’ garden looked like exactly. What you see today is a reliable reconstruction.
For the reconstruction of the 17th-century renaissance garden, reference was made to visual sources such as Rubens’ painting, ‘Wandeling in de tuin’ (Strolling in the garden) (Alte Pinakothek, Munich), horticultural data and botanical works.
The pride of the garden was undoubtedly the pavilion, which has remained practically intact. Rubens certainly knew the fountain, as well as the divisions into sections, the little wooden gates and the leafy pathway.
It is also certain that newly discovered plants were present in the garden, such as the sunflower, tulips, the fritillary and potato plants, which were imported as decorative plants from the New World. Orange, fig and other fruit trees were also to be found here.
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