With Les Jardins, Van Cleef & Arpels draws on the art of ornamental gardening to revisit the natural world which has inspired so many of its creations. In the pieces which make up this High Jewelry collection, the subject matter comes not from Nature herself but from idealized representations of Nature constructed by the hand of Man. Since gardens are ways of seeing the world, the collection evokes the four great philosophies which have guided their conception. The Asian garden seeks to reproduce natural harmony in microcosm, while the strict geometry of the French garden celebrates the triumph of reason over nature. The Italian Renaissance garden is an extension of the house at its center, while the English garden forms a landscape which opens out onto the horizon.
The collection includes a series of pieces inspired by Poliphilo’s Strife of Love in a Dream. This 15th century Italian romance exerted a major influence on the world of art and the philosophy of gardens in the 16thand 17th centuries. The garden at the Villa de Castello was an exact reproduction of those described in the work. Van Cleef & Arpels has transformed these romantic vistas into exquisite pieces of breathtaking beauty.