Gardens of China

byOsvald Sirén. Ronald Press, $30.
The author, formerly on the staff of the National Museum in Stockholm, has spent many years in China as a painting and sculpture expert. In this extraordinary volume. Dr. Sirén turns his attention to China’s garden art, examples of which he abundantly found in Peking parks and in the gardens of Suehou. The author’s thesis is that the Chinese garden has to be characterized as a work of the creative imagination, and that it is as very nearly a work of art as an alive arrangement can be. Dr. Sirén traveled camera in hand and recorded manifold specimens of this art-in-nature and nature-in-art.
He writes simply and his pictures are unpretentious and functional. There are 208 plates (about a dozen in color) which make the book indispensable to people interested in the Oriental sensibility, art forms, and flower arrangements.