The J. Paul Getty Museum

A Formal Garden

Object Details


A Formal Garden


Johannes Janson (Dutch, 1729 - 1784)






Oil on canvas

Object Number:



53.3 × 73 cm (21 × 28 3/4 in.)

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Object Description

Prosperous eighteenth-century Dutch citizens were so proud of their gardens that they hired artists like Johannes Janson to record them for posterity. The estate shown here may have been located in the province of Noordholland, north of Amsterdam. The picture shows the wealth and the sophisticated leisure afforded by the estate: the promenade at left leads to farmland, while the path at right leads to a shipping scene, two primary sources of Holland's prosperity.

The flower gardens in the foreground form a broderie parterre, literally "embroidery flower bed"; these gardens were often designed by the same artists who made drawings for bedspreads, bed hangings, and other items. They were not filled with flowers but with a contrasting soil or gravel, neatly framed with small box plants.


Lady Augusta Gregory, 1852 - 1932 (Coole Park, Galway, Ireland)

- 1959

Private Collection (represented by Gooden and Fox) [sold, Sotheby's, London, November 18, 1959, lot 29, through Agnew to J. Paul Getty.]
Note: as Dutch School, 18th Century

1959 - 1976

J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976 (Malibu, California; Sutton Place, Surrey, England), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

1976 - 1978

Estate of J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976, distributed to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978.

Mozart: Experiment Aufklärung im Wien des ausgehenden 18. Jahrhunderts (March 17 to September 20, 2006)
  • Albertina (Vienna), March 17 to September 20, 2006

Sotheby's, London. Catalogue of Fine Old Master Paintings and Drawings. November 18, 1959, p. 11, lot 29 (as "Dutch School, 18th Century").

Hunt, John Dixon. "Reckoning with Dutch Gardens / De invloed van Nederlandse tuinkunst in Engeland." Journal of Garden History 8, nos. 2-3, The Anglo-Dutch Garden in the Age of William and Mary / De Gouden Eeuw van de Hollandse Tuinkunst (April-September 1988), pp. 50-51, fig. 26.

Hunt, John Dixon. "'But Who Does Not Know What a Dutch Garden Is?' The Dutch Garden in the English Imagination." In The Dutch Garden in the Seventeenth Century. John Dixon Hunt, ed. (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarkton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1990), pp. 175-76, fig. 1.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 65, ill.

Lachmayer, Herbert, ed. Mozart: Experiment Aufklärung im Wien des ausgehenden 18. Jahrhunderts, exh. cat. (Vienna: Albertina, with Hatje Cantz, 2006), p. 366, no. 851, entry by Rainer Metzger.