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Romantic Gardens: Nature, Art and Landscape Design Hardcover – June 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


When you finish the book, you have come full circle. You have seen how the Romantic Movement began and how its expression in the garden provided, and still provides, a sense of oneness with nature. You feel how good it is to enjoy a garden. --Home & Garden

This large-format, deluxe volume accompanies a recent exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City. Cocurator Rogers contributes a feature essay introducing Romanticism as it developed in Europe and America during the 18th and 19th centuries and further discusses the movement's influence on landscape design. Garden planners attempted to capture the power and beauty of nature, while imparting moral lessons or producing sensual pleasure. This ethos has informed many public parks, gardens, and cemeteries. The Morgan exhibit includes diverse documents and visual art, reproduced here in color, with descriptions by Elizabeth Eustis (Boston Architectural Coll.) and John Bidwell (Astor Curator of Printed Books and Bindings, Morgan Library). An example is a lithograph of Balcony Bridge in Central Park, designed by architect Calvert Vaux around 1860. This valuable work on the history of landscape design in Western culture will be of most interest to landscape architects, art historians, and students. --Library Journal

This is possibly one of the most beautiful books ever published on garden history. --Judith B. Tankard, Massachusetts Horticultural Society


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: David R Godine; 1 edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567924042
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567924046
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 9.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #709,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Mickey on March 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Nineteenth century Romanticism inspired philosophers, poets, musicians, and, of course, gardeners. This book is based on an exhibition held in 2010 at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York.
The exhibit showcased images of the landscape and the garden during the Romantic Period from 1798 to 1846 in Europe and America
What I liked about the book is the focus on important people in the period. By reading about them you felt you understood Romanticism, and the illustrations, which came in the second part of the book, only helped to make the story clearer.
I visited England last year and saw some of the English gardens mentioned in the book like Stowe, designed in the eighteenth century, which became a must-see for every tourist with an interest in landscape, including Thomas Jefferson. He later designed his landscape at Monticello in the prevailing English picturesque style. The picturesque garden style as at Stowe prefigured the Romantic Movement and contributed to its development.
The Romantic Movement represented a response to the downside of industrialization, considered a blight on the land and the soul. Mass production turned the human being into a machine, where tangible results equated a worker's value.
The European park and rural cemetery movement became integral to the Romantic landscape movement. They both provided the public with a connection to nature through lawn, trees, and shrubs, often lost in the crowded streets of the city. America too took up that theme in parks and cemeteries, like Portsmouth's Middle Street Proprietor's Cemetery, at the corner of South and Sagamore Streets, which opened in 1831.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I. Innes on June 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is magnificently produced, cloth bound, printed on ivory matt paper. Considering the enormous span of the source material covered, the design and layout is well done and the quality of reproduction of historical images exemplary. These give it an immediate aesthetic appeal that allows you to 'dip in' at any location, but the book is underpinned by serious scholarship that has informed the overall content and the sequence in which this is presented. It is wonderful to have captured in the one volume such an extraordinary range of design sources including English, French, German and American examples.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. T. Northrup on June 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is the catalogue for a wonderful exhibition currently on view @ The Morgan Library in New York. I have not read the entire catalogue, but the exhibition and quality of the book make it worth a mention here.
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