CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The appropriation of territories by societies lead these to project their value systems, beliefs and meanings in the spatial forms they construct, manage and build. At the same time, these spaces are not strict reflexions of their ideologies as there is always a gap between forms, functions and meanings. Hence the modes of spatial organisation can be considered as texts and iconographies that human groupings produce for themselves and others to read and to see. It is in this perspective that one can analyse gardens and their architecture in order to understand the various material and ideational elements, both visible and invisible, that constitute them. Part of these are the gift relations linking humans and nature which make up the subject of this article. The garden of the Chinese elite and the French garden make up the two examples examined here in an effort to shed light on these gift relations linking humans and nature.

Anne-Marie Fixot
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