To the singer of the gardens
The Delille Memorial
This memorial from 1814 is dedicated to the French translator of Virgil, Jacques Delille, who in 1782 published the didactic poem "Les Jardins" (The Gardens).
Jacques Delille was a celebrated poet of the late 18th century. His didactic poem about the art of gardening, "Les Jardins ou l'art d'embellir les paysage", was published in the same year that he was selected to be part of the French Academy. The hugely successful poem contains four hymns and a thousand Alexandrines. It describes the contrast between a French park and an English landscape garden and thereby reflects the cultural shift from one concept to the other. Delille describes the landscape gardener as an artist, who like a painter creates a picturesque scene and brings it into three dimensional form. This is an approach that is clearly evident in the Ermitage.