The Architecture of Western Gardens: A Design History from the Renaissance to the Present Day

Front Cover
Monique Mosser, Georges Teyssot
MIT Press, 1991 - Architecture - 543 pages
Honorable Mention, 1992 Garden Globe Awards sponsored by the Garden Writers Association of America.

The Architecture of Western Gardens presents an international tour of garden design from the Renaissance to the present. As object and as literature, it is a sumptuous and unprecedented resource. The more than seventy essays by scholars from Europe and America all commissioned for this book - and over 650 illustrations raise the standard of garden literature to a new level. The result is an invaluable compendium that will serve as a fundamental starting point for exploring the many expressions of the place where nature and culture, project and diversion, work and pleasure meet.

Organized chronologically, the essays and illustrations make up a mosaic of the garden in the Western world. The humanist garden in Renaissance Italy, the concepts of the "Sublime" and the "Picturesque," mazes, grottoes, and other curiosities, city parks, American land art, and even Disneyland are among the topics treated. Discussions of characteristic aspects of history and theory are followed by analyses of individual gardens as paradigms of their type: the Hortus Palatinus in Heidelberg, the Parc Monceau in Paris, the Park Guell in Barcelona, Stowe in England, and many more.

The illustrations are a model of how iconography can function as text. They include ground plans meticulously redrawn from original archival material to provide precise information on the scale and nature of many of the projects, as well as a wealth of drawings, reconstructions, paintings, and photographs.

Monique Mosser is Ingenieur at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. She is an art and architectural historian, specializing in the study of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in France and elsewhere, and also teaches garden history at the Ecole Nationale Superieure du Paysage in Versailles, regularly taking part in restoration schemes for historic gardens. Georges Teyssot is Professor of History of Architecture at the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice and a Visiting Professor at the School of Architecture, Princeton University.

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