The History of Gardens in Painting

Release Date
Format Hardcover 240 pages 10.63 x 11.5 inches 180 full-color illustrations
ISBN-13 978-0-78920-993-1

An original, splendidly illustrated history of gardens as seen through the eyes of painters by the highly acclaimed author of Landscape Painting: A History.

-- A Booklist Top 10 Arts Book of 2009

The creation of gardens was among the first achievements of early civilizations, and garden design was already highly developed in antiquity. Pictures of gardens are a reflection of the social, historical, and aesthetic context in which gardens were conceived. The focus of this captivating book is not the gardens themselves or the different concepts of the garden, but rather the representation of gardens in paintings. The author examines why artists paint gardens by covering the varied and lively 2,000-year history of the garden picture using 180 garden masterpieces as examples.

The text begins with a look at ancient Rome, when paintings of gardens, as found in villas in Pompeii, were already valued as works of art. The wide-ranging coverage also includes pictures of charming medieval gardens in books of hours; Botticelli’s masterwork La Primavera, set in a grove of orange trees; views of well-known historic gardens, such as those at Versailles; painter’s gardens, as for example, Monet’s Giverny; and modern gardens depicted by Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, and David Hockney, among others. For collectors of art history books and garden books, this lovely volume should appeal to a broad audience.


"Büttner presents uncommon reproductions and sustains authoritative and engrossing commentary in an exquisite and illuminating book for art and garden lovers." -- Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Büttner’s text strikes at the heart of the human fascination with green oases and how the philosophy underpinning that fascination has changed in tandem with Western civilization’s evolving relationship with the earth.... The History of Gardens in Painting remains a valuable compendium of how artists have lost themselves in gardens over time in the never-ending pursuit of paradise. -- Art Blog by Bob

"Nils Büttner has produced a masterful survey of the depiction of sculptured landscapes in Western painting. One especially noteworthy feature of this wonderfully illustrated book is that the author brings this history up to the present. Yes, there is life after Impressionism." --

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