Marie Luise Gothein’s „A History of Garden Art“, first published in 1914 and still in print, was immediately recognized as a classic, but has so far never been brought into focus as a seminal work of the discipline. This thesis examines the cultural scientist's intellectual and aesthetic concepts that guided her in her description of garden art. What defining concepts did she have when presenting the ever-changing art work of the garden in text and image? What role does the reform garden movement play, which was in full swing at the time of publication? The analysis of Gothein's descriptions of gardens, such as Villa d'Este, shows how fundamentally historical writing is influenced by the challenges of the time. The volumes reflect an ecocritical human approach to the environment.
Karin Seeber studied art history and German studies at the universities of Heidelberg, Basel and Freiburg and garden history at the University of Bristol. She is an editor, works on garden history and is involved in educational garden projects.