French writer and designer of landscapes. He saw several English landscape gardens during his travels in the early 1760s, and in 1766 settled at Ermenonville, Oise, where he laid out the influential landscape garden. In 1777 he published his De la composition des paysages in which he described the garden and set out his own theories of landscape design. He was strongly aware of the importance of associations in gardens, used to trigger memories, stimulate ideas, and create a narrative. His friend, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–78), died on his estate, and was buried on the Île des Peupliers in the Élysée which Girardin had created. Views of this funerary island were published, and the image was an important stimulus to the cemetery movement of C19, as well as to other estate owners, notably the Prince of Anhalt-Dessau.
J. Curl (2000a);Journal of Garden History, xiv/2 (Summer 1994), 92–118;Wiebenson (1978)