The Italian Renaissance Garden

From the Conventions of Planting, Design, and Ornament to the Grand Gardens of Sixteenth-Century Central Italy

Claudia Lazzaro

Yale University Press, 1990


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The splendid architectural gardens of sixteenth-century central Italy, with their lavish sculpture and fountains, are the climax of the garden art of the Renaissance. Claudia Lazarro examines the well-documented aristocratic gardens of this period and, by gathering an abundance of contemporary textual and visual sources, attempts to reconstruct their original appearance. She establishes the conventions of planting, design, and ornament in well-known gardens, including Caprarola, Pratolino, Bomarzo and Pitigliano, as well as many lesser known ones, and goes on to discuss in detail the four best preserved grand gardens — the Medici garden at Castello, the Boboli garden in Florence, the Villa d’Este at Tivoli and the Villa Lante at Bagnaia. Includes garden chronologies and a list of common trees and plants in Italian Renaissance Gardens.

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342 pages, 296 illustrations in color & b/w, 29,5 x 25 cm, hardcover in cardboard slipcase, English