• The Monster in the Garden: Reframing Renaissance Landscape Design
    Luke Morgan

Hell Mouth, 1552–85, Sacro Bosco, Bomarzo, Italy. Photo by: Luke Morgan.

This project focuses on the neglected but significant theme of monstrosity in Renaissance landscape design. Representations of monsters and hybrid creatures are common in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century gardens, but they have never previously been studied for what they reveal about early modern attitudes toward the landscape and the monstrous. The project explores and clarifies the status and meanings of the monster in the Renaissance garden. It brings the now substantial body of scholarly work on constructions of monstrosity, abnormality and difference in European social and cultural history to bear on landscape design for the first time.

Luke Morgan is a senior lecturer in art history and theory at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. His first book Nature as Model: Salomon de Caus and Early Seventeenth-Century Landscape Design was published in 2006 by the University of Pennsylvania Press. He is currently at work on a new book, which examines the theme of monstrosity in Renaissance landscape. Since 2007 he has been a member of the editorial board of Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, to which he is frequent contributor.