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Garden Design in Denmark – G. N. Brandt and the Early Decades of the Twentieth Century

Garden Design in Denmark – G. N. Brandt and the Early Decades of the Twentieth Century
  • Date of publication: 14/12/2007
  • Paperback ISBN-13: 978 185341 115 1 (cased only)
  • Pages: 280, cased edition only
  • Dimensions: 253 x 195 mm
  • Weight: 1.050 kilos unwrapped
Author(s): Dr Lulu Salto Stephensen


The first decades of the twentieth century in Denmark saw many attempts to raise garden design to the level of an art form. Two distinct approaches emerged: a formal, pared down, modernist, architectural (architectonic) manner, and a more naturalistic style that softened the strict geometry. This book examines the traditions of garden art in Denmark in the early 1900s, and traces outside influences, such as the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain. It then reintroduces Gudmund Nyeland Brandt to the English-speaking world of landscape architecture and garden design, and restores him to the important position he holds in the development of European landscape design in the 1920s that stretched to after the Second World War.

Through his profound understanding of classical tradition and considerable practical horticultural skill, Brandt achieved a synthesis of the architectonic and natural approaches to filling garden space by means of deep analysis of site, historical surroundings and utility. He also recognized the growing functional needs of new villa owners, and what the ‘garden of the future’ might be in the period after the First World War. His theories were eagerly debated both in Denmark and elsewhere in Europe, particularly Germany. Although he modestly described himself as a mere ‘gardener’, Brandt was actually an intellectual and scholarly teacher who enlightened several generations of Danish architectural students about landscape by his teaching at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen and elsewhere. Among his collaborators and students, and those who worked in his drawing office during the early stages of their careers, were Axel Andersen, E. Erstad Jørgensen, Georg Georgsen, Sven Hansen, Poul Henningsen, Bent Salicath, Frits Schlegel, Carl Theodor Sørensen and Edvard Thomsen.

Many people are familiar with Brandt’s Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen but are not aware of his wider work discussed in this intriguing book, but what will be especially interesting to readers is the intellectual rigour and extent of analysis that Brandt employed, which will be a lesson to many a garden designer even today.

This is a volume in the series of Monographs and Critical Biographies about Landscape Design


Prologue; Introduction; The Essence of Landscape Gardening; Garden Art in Denmark, 1900–1920; Gudmund Nyeland Brandt during the period 1900–1930; G. N. Brandt as Garden Theorist – Architectonics and Landscaping, Aesthetics and the Use of History, Materials for Building and Planting in the Garden, Cultivated Landscape as a Motif in Garden Art, The Concept of Landscape and Nature from the Conservation Point of View, The Garden of the Future, Examples of the Garden of the Future; Examples of Gardens That Show Some of Brandt’s Theoretical Ideas – the Experimental Station of the Modern Garden, Brandt and History, the Cultivated Landscape Creatively Interpreted; Conclusion; Epilogue; Notes; Published and Unpublished Works of G. N. Brandt; Selected Sources about G. N. Brandt; Documents Consulted; Bibliography; Index.

Author / Compiler

Dr Lulu Salto Stephensen

Dr Lulu Salto Stephensen is well known in Scandinavia as a Danish art historian who specializes in the aesthetics of garden design. Her grandfather was the distinguished painter and ceramicist Axel Salto. She was born in 1949 in Malaya, where her father was a rubber planter, but was educated in Denmark from an early age and progressed to an MAA in art history at the University of Copenhagen in 1986, and a fil. dr. (Ph. D) from the University of Lund, Sweden, in 1993. Her doctoral thesis, Tradition og Fornyelse i Dansk Havekunst – G. N. Brandt og de første artier af 1900 tallet forms the basis of this revised English-language edition.

Dr Stephensen has lectured at, among many institutions, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Copenhagen, at the School of Architecture at Århus, and in the Faculty of Sciences, University of Copenhagen. She also set up courses on the history of Danish and universal garden design for the Danish University Extension. She regularly reviews books on aesthetics and landscape for journals and newspapers, and has published papers in learned journals. Among her larger publications are the important special issue of the Journal of Garden History featuring Garden History in Scandinavia, 1997 (as editor), Danmarks Havekunst, Volume II, 2001, and many biographies in Weilbachs Kunstnerleksikon and similar articles in Den Store Danske Encyclopædi. Dr Stephensen is married to the architect and furniture designer, Hannes Stephensen; they live north of Copenhagen at Helsingør [Elsinore].


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