Conference Proceedings

Running from Water: ‘Giochi d’Acqua and the Sense of Touch

D Marshall, B Arciszewska (ed.)

Wilanów Palace Museum | Published : 2017


Giochi d’Acqua (water tricks) are a well-known feature of Italian Baroque gardens. They exemplify the role of the senses in baroque gardens, above all the sense of touch. But how did people actually react to them? We have accounts like that of Charles de Brosses, which is characteristically cynical; an outsider’s view. There is a curious psychology of power at play in them. The trick seems to have been to get your ‘victims’ in a kind of trap, and then inflict the water spray upon them. Most recent academic accounts emphasise the notion of surprise, deception, and unexpectedness, or the nature/artifice divide, within the context of a conception such as ‘baroque culture’. Popular accounts to..

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University of Melbourne Researchers