Wednesday, June 22, 2011

SPANISH PARADISE EXHIBIT AT THE NY BOTANICAL GARDENS




The Alhambra, a Palace of Moorish grandeur and elegance, is recreated at the NY Botanical Garden. The Alhambra's gardens and architecture represent sophisticated plantsmanship, art and engineering that were the hallmarks of Islamic culture from 711 to 1492. Washington Irving, famous American author, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" visited Alhambra in Granada, Spain in 1859. The following excerpt is from the book, "Tales of the Alhambra"


THE ALHAMBRA BY MOONLIGHT
I have sat for hours at my window, inhaling the sweetness of the garden and musing on the chequered fortunes of those whose history is dimly shadowed out in the elegant memorials around. Sometimes I have issued forth at midnight, when everything was quiet, and have wandered over the whole building. Who can do justice to a moonlight night in such a climate and in such a place! The temperature of an Andalusian midnight in summer is perfectly ethereal. We seem lifted up into a purer atmosphere; there is a serenity of soul, a buoyancy of spirits, an elasticity of frame that render mere existence enjoyment. The effect of moonlight, too, on the Alhambra, has something like enchantment. every chasm of time, every mouldering tint and weatherstain disappears, the marble resumes its original whiteness, the long colonnades brighten in the moonbeams, the halls are illuminated with a softened radiance, until the whole edifice reminds one of the enchanted palace of an Arabian Tale.

Washington Irving
Spring 1859


1 comment:

Val said...

What wonderful photographs. Your artist's eye.