The Italian Renaissance garden was a new style of garden which emerged in the late fifteenth century at villas in Rome and Florence, inspired by classical ideals of order and beauty, and intended for the pleasure of the view of the garden and the landscape beyond, for contemplation, and for the enjoyment of the sights, sounds and smells of the garden itself. In the late Renaissance, the gardens became larger, grander and more symmetrical, and were filled with fountains, statues, grottoes, water organs and other features designed to delight their owners and amuse and impress visitors. The style was imitated throughout Europe, influencing the gardens of the French Renaissance and the English garden.
The Classical Influence the Italian Renaissance garden
The Apennine Colossus by Giambologna in the gardens of Pratolino, about 1580 Prior to the Italian Renaissance, Italian Medieval gardens were enclosed by walls, and were devoted to growing vegetables, fruits and medicinal herbs, or, in the case of monastery gardens, for silent meditation and prayer. The Italian Renaissance garden broke down the wall between the garden, the house, and the landscape outside. The Italian Renaissance garden, like Renaissance art and architecture, emerged from the rediscovery by Renaissance scholars of classical Roman models. They were inspired by the descriptions of ancient Roman gardens given by Ovid in his Metamorphoses; by the letters of Pliny the Younger, by Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia; and in Rerum Rusticanum by Varro, all of which gave detailed and lyrical description of the gardens of Roman villas. Pliny the Younger described his life at his villa at Laurentum: " ...a good life and a genuine one, which is happy and honourable, more rewarding than any "business" can be. You should take the first opportunity to leave the din, the futile bustle and useless occupations of the city and devote yourself to literature or to leisure.". The purpose of a garden,...
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