Constantijn Huygens' Vitaulium or Hofwijck (1642) is an artwork that is a mixture of garden, sculpture, architecture and literature consisting of a house and garden that are the physical residue of a complete philosophical concept based on Vitruvius' essay on the relationship between geometrical ratios and the proportions of the human body.


The complex meanings of the place are revealed in the poem Hofwijck (1653) which is about 3000 lines long and comes with a drawing of the place. The terrain resembles a human body. The house is the head and the garden is the body. The contrast between city and rural life as described by Virgilius in Georgica, of ars et natura, macro and micro cosmos, the knowledge of elements and memories of the garden of Eden, were important concepts.

The estate was created after the idea of “a harmonious piece of paradise on earth, with a garden in God’s image and likeness.”


  • vitaulium.txt
  • Last modified: 2007-11-13 16:37
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