Boris Sokolov, professor of art history, Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, is occupied with several topics in the history of garden art (his web site: He is preparing a critical Russian edition of Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, most famous book of the Italian Renaissance published by Aldo Manuzio in Venice at 1499. The framework of the novel, the title of which means „The Love Strife in the Poliphilo’s Dream“, is a story of unattainable passion of the hero to beautiful Polia, lost in the earthly life and regained in a double dream. The anonymous author, who is identified as Francesco Colonna, a Domenican of Venice and Treviso, put within the love story all his passion to the Classical heritage. The language of the book is courtly Italian with heavy percentage of Latin and Greek words and realia. It’s a purely pagan world ruled by Venus and Jupiter, and populated with nymphs whose appearance, garments and utensils are given in great detail. Colonna describes four outstanding buildings following some ideas of Alberti and Filarete, and the island of Cythera, a Utopian piece of topiary architecture. His thoughts and images regarding the ideal garden, parkland and landscape are pioneering; they were adopted much later by Mannerist garden designers and in the making of the Versailles park. The story has an esotetic layer, represented in the sequence of symbolic events and numerous emblems, „sacred hyerogliphs“. The reading of this inner sense is a problem, for at Colonna’s time the hermetic and astrological knowledge was not yet published. The research done at the Library is to develop this part of interpretation and to finalize the publication project.