- Erhard Hirsch
[Anhalt, Duke of]
(b Dessau, Aug 10, 1740; reg 1756–1817; d Dessau, Aug 9, 1817).
German ruler and garden designer. After leaving the Prussian Army in 1757, he devoted himself to governing Dessau, instituting provision for the poor, public health and education. He made four journeys to England (1763–85) with Friedrich Wilhelm Erdmannsdorff, with whom he also travelled through Italy (1765–6). He studied for six months with Johann Joachim Winckelmann, whose ‘mimetic theory of the Ancients’ he realized in his garden designs. With Erdmannsdorff and his planters, he created gardens at Luisium (1774) and Sieglitzer Berg (1777) and most notably at Wörlitz (1764–1810), based on such English models as The Leasowes (Worcs), Stowe (Bucks), Kew Gardens (London) and Stourhead (Wilts). He was acquainted with William Chambers, Henry Holland, Sir William Hamilton (i) and possibly also Henry Flitcroft and ‘Capability’ Brown. As well as introducing the English landscape garden and Palladian country house to the Continent, the Prince also transplanted the Gothic Revival. The ‘Country House’ and ‘Gothic House’ at ...