German intellectual. His publications promoted the design of landscape gardens, starting with Anmerkungen über die Landhäuser und die Gartenkunst (Notes on country-houses and garden design—1773) and Theorie der Gartenkunst (Theory of garden-design—1775). These were followed by the huge five-volume Theorie der Gartenkunst (1779–85—which also came out in French as Théorie de l'Art des Jardins). Drawing heavily on English writers, he described exemplary gardens, contrasting them with Baroque French gardens (which he firmly associated with Absolutism), and he emphasized the value of gardens with their fabriques in the triggering of memory, associations, moods, and feelings. He was particularly interested in gardens as places of education, to raise the tone of society, and generally improve minds. In particular, he advocated public parks as places where the moral improvement of the populace would be achieved. His works were a major source by which English concepts of landscape gardens were disseminated in the German-speaking lands. Indirectly, too, his publications helped to promote ideas that led to the formation of the first garden-cemeteries.
Breckwoldt (1995);Hirschfeld (1779–85);Journal of Garden History, xiv/2 (Summer 1994), 92–118;Kehn (1992);Schepers (1980)