This lecture will examine the neglected theme of monstrosity in Renaissance gardens. Representations of monsters, giants and the grotesque are common in 16th and 17th century landscape design but they have rarely been studied. The lecture will suggest that our understanding of the Renaissance garden as a straightforward locus amoenus (‘pleasant place’) or reflection of paradise is incomplete without an acknowledgement of the presence of the monster.
DR LUKE MORGAN is a Senior Lecturer in Art History and Theory at Monash University. His book Nature as Model: Salomon de Caus and Early Seventeenth-Century Landscape Design was published in 2007 by the University of Pennsylvania Press. His current research focuses on monsters in early modern landscape design.
The Mouth of Hell’ at The Sacred Grove of Bomarzo, Italy