MENU THE ARTS SOCIETY KENNET & SWINDON
Click here for previous lectures

DateLecture
21 January 2019Classic Ground: Renaissance Gardens of Italy
18 February 2019Embroidered with Woodbine and Eglantine: Elizabethan Textile Furnishings
18 March 2019The Art and Architecture of St. Petersburg
15 April 2019Alchemy and Adventure: A history of Exotic Colours and Poisonous Pigments
20 May 2019William Morris: The Art of Life and the Life of Art
17 June 2019Silver in England: A fresh look
16 September 2019Ancient Egyptian Art: 3000 years of Treasures
21 October 2019From Soup to Syllabub: A light-heated Insight into Food and Eating Habits of 18th Century England
18 November 2019A Tour of Big Ben
09 December 2019The Bayeux Tapestry - The World's Oldest Comic Strip
20 January 2020Caravaggio: Murderer or Genius?
17 February 2020The Rebuilding of the Town of Ypres after its total Destruction in the Great War
16 March 2020Decadence and Dreams: Jewellery from around 190
20 April 2020The Field of Cloth of Gold: 6000 Englishmen in France for 18 Days - how did they do it?

Click on a row and scroll to display more details about the lecture

Classic Ground: Renaissance Gardens of Italy Steven Desmond Monday 21 January 2019

In 1527 the Sack of Rome took place, a traumatic event which brought the Italian Renaissance to a crunching halt and caused a general exodus of patrons and artists into the relative safety of the surrounding countryside. Here they found themselves among forested volcanic hills watered by springs, in settings celebrated in antiquity by the Romans and Etruscans.

Soon these disparate forces made contact, and began the making of country estates along Virgilian lines, focused on the idea of the villa and its surrounding garden. The gardens themselves made geometric order out of the sloping woodland, terracing the ground into descending courtyards populated by statues, and channelling the natural watercourses into pools, fountains, cascades and refreshing water-jets. The rational pattern of the parterre formed a backdrop for flower and fruit gardens where cardinals and dukes could converse, appraise and receive.

 

Surprising numbers of these sites survive in good order today, in rich variety. Collectively they form a group of gardens which mark the change from mediaeval ideas to the unmistakable beginning of modern European garden history. The Villa Lante at Bagnaia, the Palazzo Farnese at Caprarola, the Sacro Bosco at Bomarzo and the Villa d’Este at Tivoli are among the illustrious gardens viewed and brought alive in this richly illustrated lecture.