Yuanye (Chinese 園冶, Pinyin yuán yě), variously translated as The Garden Treatise or The Craft of Gardens, is a 1631 work on garden design by Ji Cheng of the late Ming Dynasty. It is now considered the definitive work on garden design of the many produced during that period, and has been labeled as the first monograph dedicated to garden architecture in the world, and among the great masterpieces of garden literature.
The work is broken in to three volumes. Volume one focuses on overall principles, in particular: situation, layout, buildings and their fittings. Volume two contains descriptions and illustrations of decorative balustrades. Volume three covers doorways, windows, walls, decorative pavements, artificial mounds, rock selection, and borrowed scenery (jie jing).
The work is primarily focused on architectural features, rather than natural features. Contrasts have been drawn between this and other classic works of East Asian garden design, such as Sakuteiki (of the Japanese Heian period) which concentrates on water and rocks, and numerous Japanese works of the Edo period (Tzukiyama teizoden, Sagaryuniwa kohohiden no koto, Tsukiyama sunsuiden), to suggest a fundamental difference in approach between Chinese and Japanese garden design - namely, emphasis on architectural and natural features, respectively.
- Ji Cheng: Craft of Gardens, Yale University Press, 1988, Translated by Alison Hardie ISBN 0-300-04182-9
- Yuanye, le traite du jardin, Ji Cheng, Traduit par Che Bing Chiu ISBN 2-910735-13-3
- The Garden as Architecture. Inaji, Toshiro. 1998. ISBN 4-7700-1712-X
- Original text (in Chinese)
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