Garden Jewels

Garden Jewels

The Château de Villandry, in the Loire Valley 10 miles west of Tours, is justly renowned for its spectacular Renaissance gardens, including a 2.5 acre kitchen garden composed of nine box-edged parterres planted with herbs and vegetables in geometric patterns, surrounded by espaliered fruit trees. The fruit and vegetable theme is highlighted this summer and fall by Jewels from an Antipodean Garden, an exhibition of superbly detailed still-life paintings by artist Charlotte Thodey.

Inspired by 16th-century Dutch artists, Thoday’s work hovers somewhere between hyperrealistic and surreal, with tomatoes, parsnips, lemons and pomegranates glowing with vivid color and often a deft and charming touch of humor. Her work, says the artist, is “about simple things being beautiful”.  The New Zealand-born Thodey, now based in Sydney, Australia, works closely with Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens.

June 15  to November 11.

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