View of a Baroque grotto large enough to allow boating
Perspective view of a grotto from Paul Decker's Furstlicher Baumeister, oder Architectura civilis (Masterbuilder for Princes, or Civil Architecture). Grottoes began as artificial caves in the gardens of renaissance villas and developed into fanciful creations with sculptures, fountains, and other waterworks in the 18th century. In this illustration, the grotto is large enough to allow boating.
Decker (1677-1713) was a trained architect, but is most recognized now as an imaginative theoretician and for this book. Published between 1711 and 1716, it was extremely influential upon the development of German Baroque architecture. As a visual document of idealized projects presented almost exclusively without text, it illustrated to the German nobility how to plan, build and decorate residences and gardens. His rich yet stately designs are comprehensively detailed by plans, elevations, sections and decorative patterns in large, sumptuous engravings.