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Patrick A. Snadon

(b New York, July 24, 1803; d Orange, NJ, Jan 14, 1892).

American architect. From the 1830s to the 1850s he was one of the most influential architects in the USA. His work ranges from major government and institutional buildings to ornamental garden structures; his main contribution to American architecture was his introduction of the European Picturesque in his designs for Italianate and Gothic Revival country houses and cottages. With his partner, Ithiel Town, he also refined and popularized the American Greek Revival. He revolutionized American architectural drawing through rendering buildings in romantic landscapes rather than in the analytical, Neo-classical style that preceded him. In 1836 he helped form the American Institution of Architects and advanced professionalism in American architecture through his scrupulous office practices, being, for example, the first American architect to use printed, standardized specifications.

At the age of 16, Davis left school in New York to work as a type compositor in Alexandria, VA. During this time, probably influenced by reading contemporary Gothic novels, he made drawings of prison and castle interiors akin to Piranesi’s engravings of imaginary prisons. In ...

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Mario Bencivenni

(b Florence, Feb 14, 1778; d Florence, Feb 22, 1843).

Italian architect, landscape designer and teacher. He studied architecture at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence under Gasparo Maria Paoletti, the leader of the Tuscan Neo-classical school, and won prizes for his projects in 1797; in 1801 he became a professor of architecture there and presented a project for a Pantheon of famous men to the Accademia. In 1803 he began to work for the Tuscan state, making important contacts in the Napoleonic period at a time when he is known to have become a freemason. His first important commission, received from the Accademia di Belle Arti, was the remodelling of the famous Cappella di S Luca (1810–13) in SS Annunziata, Florence, as part of a project to transform the convent into the new seat of the French bishop. Following the restoration in 1814 of the House of Lorraine to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, he played a prime role in the reconstruction of the Scrittoio delle Reali Fabbriche, first as Secretary, then Director (...

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Susan B. Taylor

[Desgotz.]

French family of garden designers. They were related by marriage to André Le Nôtre and, together with the Mollet family, formed a loose grouping of designers and horticulturists that undertook the execution of Le Nôtre’s plans for the most important French formal gardens of the mid- and late 17th century. In 1614 Jean Desgots was responsible for the upkeep of the Tuileries gardens in Paris; in 1624 he was replaced by his brother Pierre, a celebrated draughtsman who in 1616 had married Elizabeth, Le Nôtre’s sister. Pierre Desgots and Le Nôtre collaborated on a number of garden designs, with Pierre often drawing up finished plans based on Le Nôtre’s sketches. He probably served as clerk of works at Chantilly, where, after 1644, Le Nôtre was working for Louis II, Prince de Condé; in 1673 Pierre made two detailed plans of the Chantilly gardens.

Pierre’s son Claude Desgots was sent on a bursary to the Académie de France in Rome in ...

Article

German association of architects, urban planners and writers. Founded in 1902 and active until the 1930s, it was modelled on the English Garden Cities Association. In contrast to the English precursor, however, which was grounded on Ebenezer Howard’s practical theories of economic decentralization, the Deutsche Gartenstadtgesellschaft had literary roots. Its direct predecessors were the communes established by literati seeking to re-establish contact with the land, which flourished in the countryside around Berlin at the turn of the century. Among its founder-members were the writers Heinrich Hart (1855–1906) and Julius Hart (1859–1930), Bruno Wille (1860–1928) and Wilhelm Bölsche (1861–1939), and the literary tendencies of the group were clearly stated in the founding manifesto: ‘The Deutsche Gartenstadtgesellschaft is a propaganda society. It sees the winning over of the public to the garden city cause as its principal aim’ (quoted from Founding Statutes of Deutsche Gartenstadtgesellschaft...

Article

Mary M. Tinti

Architecture, design and conceptual art partnership. Diller Scofidio + Renfro [Diller + Scofidio] was formed in 1979 by Elizabeth Diller (b Lodz, Poland, 1954) and Ricardo Scofidio (b New York, NY, 1935) as an interdisciplinary design practice based in New York.

Diller studied at the Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York (BArch, 1979) and then worked as an Assistant Professor of Architecture (1981–90) at the Cooper Union School of Architecture, becoming Associate Professor of Architecture at Princeton University in 1990. Scofidio, who also attended Cooper Union (1952–5), obtained his BArch from Columbia University (1960) and became Professor of Architecture at Cooper Union in 1965. In 1997 Charles Renfro joined the firm and was made partner in 2004, at which point the partnership changed its name to Diller Scofidio + Renfro. While the couple (who are married) initially eschewed traditional architectural projects in favor of installations, set design and landscape design, by the 21st century their firm had received commissions for both new buildings and renovations of existing architecture. Diller and Scofidio were the first architects to receive a MacArthur Foundation fellowship (...

Article

Arthur Channing Downs

(b Newburgh, NY, Oct 31, 1815; d Hudson River, NY, July 28, 1852).

American writer, horticulturist, landscape gardener and architect. From the age of seven he was trained in the family nursery garden by his elder brother Charles Downing (1802–85), an experimental horticulturist. Before he was 15, Downing came under the influence of André Parmentier (1780–1830), a Dutch-trained landscape gardener, and he studied the 700-acre estate that Parmentier had landscaped in the English manner at Hyde Park, NY. Downing was also influenced by the mineralogist Baron Alois von Lederer (1773–1842) and the landscape painter Raphael Hoyle (1804–38). In 1834 Downing’s first article, ‘Ornamental Trees’, appeared in journals in Boston, MA, and France. His article ‘The Fitness of Different Styles of Architecture for Country Residences’ (1836) was the first important discussion of the topic in America. He expressed enthusiasm for a variety of styles and insisted they must be used in appropriate settings. His ...

Article

Kathleen Russo

(b Paris, c. 1670; d Paris, April 9, 1751).

French architect. His first known work was the Hôtel d’Etampes (1704; destr.), Paris. The high, narrow building with a mansard roof, Classical orders ornamenting the avant-corps of both the court and garden façades and irrationally low attached side wings differed in its proportions from his later works, lending some credibility to Jacques-François Blondel’s suggestion that it was actually designed by the Sicilian Duke Fornari. More typical of Dulin was his best-known work, the Hôtel Dunoyer (1708; destr. 1847), Paris, commissioned by an arms dealer. The central section of this balanced and elegant two-storey building was emphasized by the high, pitched roof that crowned the avant-corps, contrasting with the flat, balustraded roof of the rest of the corps de logis. The decorative features of this work included two putti shown as lovers, positioned at each end of the roof, and sculpted busts in the wide window piers of the upper storey. This building, called a ...

Article

Dana Arnold

[Du Perac, Stefano]

(b Bordeaux, c. 1525; d Paris, 1601).

French painter, engraver and garden designer. He went to Rome in 1550 and stayed there for over 20 years, soon becoming acknowledged as a first-rate engraver and designer. His work provides an invaluable record of later 16th-century Rome, telling much about the state of the ancient ruins, contemporary architecture and urban planning, especially the work of Michelangelo. Many of Dupérac’s engravings were published by Antoine Lafréry. Those depicting the work of Michelangelo were published in 1569 after the latter’s death (1564); they give a useful insight into Michelangelo’s original, unrealized intentions for such projects in Rome as the Capitoline Hill and St Peter’s. It has been shown that Dupérac designed and painted part of the decoration of the loggia of Pope Pius IV in the Vatican. His work as a painter continued on his return to France in 1570 when, after the publication of his Vues perspectives des jardins de Tivoli...

Article

Gisela Vits

(bapt Dachau, Feb 4, 1687; d Munich, Feb 23, 1745).

German architect. His family had been gardeners in the service of the Electors of Bavaria for several generations, and Effner also trained as a gardener in Paris from 1706. However, with the permission of Elector Maximilian II Emanuel, then living in exile in France, he soon transferred to architecture and became a pupil of Germain Boffrand. Effner collaborated with Boffrand on the decoration (1713) of the château of St Cloud for Maximilian Emanuel II before returning to Munich with the Elector in 1715. As a court architect and, after the death of Enrico Zuccalli, as Chief Court Architect, Effner controlled architectural projects at the court in Munich. At first he altered and extended existing castles in the Munich area, including the Schloss at Dachau, where he also laid out the court garden, the hunting-lodge at Fürstenried and above all Schloss Nymphenburg (see Munich §IV 3.), which he enlarged considerably. Effner also worked on the plans for the park at Nymphenburg and created three pavilions there: the Pagodenburg (...

Article

Gerta Calmann

(b Heidelberg, Jan 30, 1708; d London, Sept 9, 1770).

German draughtsman and painter, active also in England. While working as a gardener, he used his free time to draw plants, persevering until he abandoned gardening altogether. His lifelong patron, Dr Christoph Jacob Trew (1695–1769) of Nuremberg, instructed him in botany and provided him with good-quality paper. Journeying, mainly on foot, through Switzerland and France, he learnt in Paris the technique of painting on vellum. In Holland he met Linnaeus (1707–78), to whose Hortus Cliffortianus (Amsterdam, 1737–8) he contributed several botanical illustrations and whose system of plant classification he made known by publishing a ‘tabella’ (Leiden, 1736).

In 1736 Ehret settled permanently in England. He first worked with Philip Miller (1691–1771), head of the Chelsea Physic Garden, whose sister-in-law he married, then found patrons among scientists who commissioned him to illustrate their botanical articles and travel books. He published his own engraved and hand-coloured plant-book, ...

Article

Keith N. Morgan

(b Cambridge, MA, Nov 1, 1859; d Brookline, MA, March 25, 1897).

American landscape architect, regional planner and writer. He was the son of Charles W. Eliot, the influential reforming president of Harvard College (1869–1909). He inherited much of his father’s broad vision and organizational talent, and he applied these to his interest in landscape preservation.

After completing his basic studies at Harvard in 1882, Eliot decided to attend courses in botany and horticulture at Harvard’s Bussey Institute as preparation for a career in landscape architecture. However, in 1883 he was offered an apprenticeship with Frederick Law Olmsted sr, the foremost landscape architect in the USA; he remained with Olmsted until 1885, during which time the office developed plans for several important projects, notably the Boston municipal park system and the Arnold Arboretum, Boston. He then completed his courses at the Bussey Institute, after which he toured abroad for a year, inspecting parks, gardens and natural landscapes from England to Italy and Russia....

Article

Bruce A. Coats

(b Nagahami, Ōmi Prov. [now Shiga Prefect.], 1579; d Fushimi, nr Kyoto, 1647).

Japanese tea ceremony master, designer and construction supervisor of numerous palaces, castles and gardens. He was one of the most influential figures in Japanese art during the early 17th century. He is noted for the courtly refinement of his designs, which were elegant yet understated, innovative yet respectful of traditions. Few of the many buildings and gardens attributed to him remain in their original form, but his style is found throughout much of Japan. A disciple in his youth of Furuta Oribe, he practised an elaborate style of tea ceremony, and his name has become associated with a tea-room design that is spacious and luxurious without being ostentatious.

Enshū’s father, Kobori Masatsugu (d 1604), was a samurai who served the military leaders Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542–1616) as castle architect and construction supervisor. In 1596 Enshū assisted Masatsugu with work on Fushimi Castle (completed 1594...

Article

Susan B. Taylor

French landscape garden near Senlis, at the edge of the forest of Chantilly, Oise. Laid out by its owner, Louis-René Marquis de Girardin, between 1766 and 1776, it became one of the most influential examples of the Picturesque garden in 18th-century France. In contrast to the flat terrain of many French parks, Ermenonville (approx. 850 ha) was varied and had an abundant water supply. Girardin made a large lake to the south of his modernized château; this flowed into two cascades, becoming a meandering stream north of the château. The lake and stream together defined the central north–south axis. The park itself he divided into four areas, in order to maintain the distinctly varied character of Ermenonville’s topography: the farm, east of the château, was essentially a ferme ornée, whereas the Désert, to the west, was a rocky landscape of sandhills, pine trees and boulders. The fine views to the north and south of the château, improved by the lake and stream, encouraged Girardin to exploit his domain—recomposing the landscape so as to resemble the scenery to be found in the works of celebrated landscape painters. Consequently, southerly views from the château—an area that included an ‘Arcadian’ field framed by the woods surrounding the lake, cascade and grotto—suggested paintings by Claude Lorrain; those to the north, a flat, marshy area containing a rustic mill, canal and windmill, evoked in the spectator’s imagination ‘northern, meditative’ landscapes. This latter area also included the Tower of Gabrielle (destr.), a Gothick tower dedicated to the mistress of Henry IV. Elsewhere, the views recalled the types of scenery associated with paintings by Hubert Robert, Salvator Rosa and Jacob van Ruisdael....

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b London, 1728; d Annapolis, MD, 1804),

American silversmith and clockmaker. He was primarily a merchant, but his workshop produced a small number of pieces that can now be identified. His diary is concerned in large part with his passion for gardening, but is also a valuable resource for the American silver trade in the late 18th century....

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(b New York, June 19, 1872; d Bar Harbor, ME, Feb 27, 1959).

American landscape designer. Born into a well connected family, she was introduced to important European gardens by her aunt, Edith Wharton. Farrand studied horticulture with Charles Sprague Sargent (1841–1927) at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, MA, and in 1895 began practising as a landscape designer in New York. In 1899 she became a founder-member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The landscapes of Beatrix Farrand can be seen today with some degree of completeness in only two major gardens: Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC (1922–33), and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden (1926–late 1930s) at The Eyrie, Seal Harbor, on Mount Desert Island, ME. The rest of her designs—around 200 gardens—have disappeared. Remnants of a few are being rediscovered, and with the aid of the documentation she gave to the University of California at Berkeley, it may be possible to restore them. By the 1980s, Farrand had almost been forgotten; however, a symposium at Dumbarton Oaks inspired new research and brought her back into public view....

Article

Stephen Bann

(b Nassau, Bahamas, Oct 28, 1925; d Dunsyre, Scotland, March 27, 2006).

Scottish sculptor, graphic artist and poet. Brought up in Scotland, he briefly attended Glasgow School of Art and first made his reputation as a writer, publishing short stories and plays in the 1950s. In 1961 he founded the Wild Hawthorn Press with Jessie McGuffie and within a few years had established himself internationally as Britain’s foremost concrete poet (see Concrete poetry). His publications also played an important role in the initial dissemination of his work as a visual artist. As a sculptor, he has worked collaboratively in a wide range of materials, having his designs executed as stone-carvings, as constructed objects and even in the form of neon lighting.

In 1966 Finlay and his wife, Sue, moved to the hillside farm of Stonypath, south-west of Edinburgh, and began to transform the surrounding acres into a unique garden, which he named Little Sparta. He revived the traditional notion of the poet’s garden, arranging ponds, trees and vegetation to provide a responsive environment for sundials, inscriptions, columns and garden temples. As the proponent of a rigorous classicism and as the defender of Little Sparta against the intrusions of local bureaucracy, he insisted on the role of the artist as a moralist who comments sharply on cultural affairs. The esteem won by Finlay’s artistic stance and style is attested by many important large-scale projects undertaken throughout the world. The ‘Sacred Grove’, created between ...

Article

Folly  

Tim Mowl

Structure often, but not necessarily, towered, the functional utility of which—whether to form a landmark, house a gamekeeper or commemorate a racehorse—is subordinate to its creator’s need for self-expression. The forms this might take are diverse and barely classifiable. The elegant Obelisk (h. 42.7 m) built by Mrs William Conolly of Castletown House, Co. Kildare, to a design by Richard Castle, in order to relieve local distress in the hard winter of 1739–40 is a folly, but so too is the giant statue of Neptune (c. 1749; much damaged) constructed of clinker from his brass foundry by the Quaker industrialist William Champion at Warmley (nr Bristol, Avon). The folly is essentially a West European phenomenon, a gesture of Romantic revolt, the mark of eccentric individuality and sometimes of spiritual malaise.

Such late 16th-century Italian gardens as Pratolino (created 1569–84; destr. 1819) had grotesque follies in the shape of huge titans carved from the rock by ...

Article

Naomi Miller

Sculptural or architectural structure that channels a spring or source of water and shapes it by means of jets or sprays, the water falling into one or more containers or basins.

Fountains may serve decorative or practical purposes and have, in a multitude of forms, been a feature of both public and private spaces since ancient times. They have been erected to celebrate technological advancement in a civilization, for example in the harnessing of water for public use; to serve as objects of religious significance or to commemorate events of historical importance; and to create poetic and theatrical displays.

Whereas the fountain is documented throughout the world, its absence from some areas is due to such factors as the lack of an adequate hydraulic system for its construction or, in terms of the fountain’s decorative function, the prevalence of a different aesthetic for the display of water.

The latter has historically been the case in East Asia. An essential feature of ...

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Article

Janet Southorn

(d Rome, 1505).

Italian banker and patron. He was from a noble family in Rome, prominent in banking and as civic officials, and received a humanist education. He formed a collection of antiquities, which was arranged in the garden of the Casa Galli (destr.), near the Palazzo della Cancelleria, Rome. In 1496, probably through his friend Cardinal Raffaele Riario, he met Michelangelo, who was on his first visit to Rome. Michelangelo came to live in Galli’s house, and Galli bought his first large-scale sculpture, the marble Bacchus (1496; Florence, Bargello). The Bacchus was displayed in the garden of the Casa Galli, where it was recorded in a drawing of 1536 by Maarten van Heemskerck (Berlin, Kupferstichkab.) and in a description c. 1550 by Ulisse Aldrovandi, until its purchase in 1571–2 by Francesco I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Galli is documented as owning a standing marble Cupid, or Apollo, by Michelangelo (untraced, though possibly to be identified as that in New York, French Embassy Cult. Bldg). He also supervised the contract of ...