Piliphilo in Art

Over the centuries, there have been numerous artists and architects who have been inspired by Colonna’s book about Poliphilo’s dream and not just the best: the temple of Bramante, the architect of St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Piranesi’s Carceri, Giogione’s painting La Tempesta and perhaps the gardens of Bomarzo would look different without Francesco Colonna. But it cannot always be shown exactly whether and to what extent those artists used the Hypnerotoinachia Poliphili in the past.

In the Netherlands there is an architect, Ashok Bhalotra, who builds on the tradition of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili as a source of inspiration for architecture and visual art. The Amersfoort neighborhood of Kattebroek is inspired by the Poliphile.

The Dutch author Abdelkader Benali gave a lecture on the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili Benali in 2006: “One evening in Rome I saw a book in the window of a bookstore. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. It sounded like a magic spell. I repeated the word on the way home. Hypnerotomachia. The title alone was a story. Why was it called that? What does it mean? Why was it so attractive to me? ”

The Museum Meermanno in The Hague owns a fine specimen of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Since the museum opened in 1852, the book has been on display without interruption for nearly a hundred years.

Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687) had a Venetian edition of the Dream of Poliphilo and drew plenty of inspiration from it when constructing his country estate Hofwijck. Let yourself be guided through the garden by the master himself in his poem Hofwijck.

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