Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History

By Elizabeth Barlow Rogers. (Harry N. Abrams, 2001)

Ten years in the making, Elizabeth Barlow Rogers’s survey of the built environment from prehistoric times to the present shows how landscapes can be read as documents of cultural values. The book interprets the cosmology and religion inherent in the spaces of prehistoric ritual landscapes; how the landscapes of Greek classical antiquity performed as covenants between society and nature; the role of the ancient Roman garden in portraying the sophisticated and luxurious life style of emperors and elites; the Islamic and medieval garden as a metaphor of Paradise; the humanist iconographies that Italian Renaissance villa garden designers translated into stone, water, and vegetation; the mastery of Cartesian geometry and modes of authoritarian display in seventeenth-century European princely gardens; the revolutionary character of the eighteenth-century English garden as the foundation for the naturalistic Romantic landscape; the poetical aesthetics imbuing Chinese gardens; the Buddhist principles underlying Japanese gardens; and the ways in which the ideals of democracy and capitalism are apparent in American metropolitan and national parks, vernacular and community gardens, theme parks, and shopping malls.

With over six hundred images, plans, drawings, historic prints, and contemporary photographs, Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History is the standard resource for students, teachers, landscape architects, gardeners, and anyone who wishes to learn to read the landscapes of travel and home with an educated eye.