• Deutsch
  • English
  • Français

Classicism (ca. 1770-1840)

In terms of facade greening, much of what characterised the Baroque period continued on into the Classical era... above all the further development of small espalier gardens and Talut walls, most of which were probably small. New climbing plants were introduced or bred. In garden art this era is also known as the "Biedermeier period." But with Romanticism and its veneration of the 'castle,' there was a contradicting impulse: instead of order, light, and austerity, ivy-covered and seemingly ancient walls were revered.

Wisteria, administrative building in Eutin / Schleswig-Holstein / Germany
Wisteria, administrative building in Eutin / Schleswig-Holstein / Germany

The Expansion of Classicism

There are some cities which had a lively architectural development in the Classical period. Some of the many greenings produced in these cities are even still visible from that time; for example, in Berlin, Potsdam, Weimar, Eutin, and Putbus. See the photo examples below in the gallery. (In classical garden art, strict and ordered elements predominated, similar to the models from antiquity: stone structures-- pyramids and temples, staircases and balustrades. There was virtually no place for greenery.)

Biedermeier-Gardens

The "Biedermeier" era, from approx. 1815 to 1850, was a lively style within Classicism. It turned away from fanatical idealism of any kind. Instead, it was all about enjoying life and living in style with family and friends. Garden art played a significant role, and the "Biedermeier-Gardens" -- with flowers, wall greening, and espalier fruit-- emerged.

New Climbing Plants

From North America, Dutchman's pipe (pipevine) arrived (1783), followed by Asian Chinese and Japanese wisteria (1816 and 1830), and clematis montana (1831).

Harvest on a vine espalier, Oscar Pletsch, ca. 1870
Building with vine greening

Photo Gallery

See here more examples of green facades from the era of Classicism... 

Alexandrinen Street, Schwerin, late Classicism, wild climbing vine existing since at least 1930
Neoclassical house in Putbus / Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, rose bushes similar to time of its construction (Prince Malte of Putbus ordered all prescribed subjects to plant such rose bushes in front of houses)
Goethe's garden house in Weimar / Thuringia with rose trellises
Historical photo of Späth Arboretum Berlin with Dutchman's Pipe (preserved to this day)
Classical garden architecture, Roman baths in Potsdam/Sanssouci/Brandenburg, Akebia on climbing wires, in use since 1907
Classical postal station in Jahna-Pulsitz/Saxony, vine trellis based on a historical model
House with wisteria in Brandenburg, Germany Brandenburg
Dutchman's Pipe on a mill building, Miltitz / Saxony
Dutchman's Pipe on a mill building, Miltitz / Saxony
Entrance door with a small grapevine in Pegau / Saxony
House with wall roses in Eutin/Schleswig-Holstein
Vine and climbing roses on a house in in Eutin, Schleswig-Holstein
Wild vine on the building Finkenherd 6, 1780, Quedlinburg Saxony-Anhalt
Historical, unrestored courtyard with old wine trellis, entrance to the town village Wermsdorf / Saxony (construction year not known)
Ancient ivy in the scenery park on the Ilm river in the Templar hall, redesigned by court master builder Johann Friedrich Rudolf Steiner in the style of the romanticism, Weimar / Thürigen
Ruin-like annexes in the spirit of Romanticism, greened with ivy. Burg Mildenstein / Leisnig / Saxony
Covered with ivy. Grimma / Saxony
An almost unchanged classicist garden house ("Friendship temple") from 1802 with vines on a wooden espalier. Gösch-garden at the Gösch-house in Grimma / Saxony
Autumn wisteria on the Spa-Hotel from the Classical period (building period 1824 - 1828). Überlingen / Baden-Württemberg
Blooming apple espalier on the "Hofgärtnerhaus" estate. Today it is the Liszt museum in Weimar / Thuringia