Villas & Gardens of Ren Italy
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Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art and Design History and Theory
Department: Art and Design History
Course Number: PGHT 5760
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
- Art History, Theory & Criticism
- Design History, Theory & Criticism
This seminar will explore developments in Italian villa culture ca. 1450-1650, focusing on Rome, Florence, and the Veneto with attention to such other centers as Milan. The landscape of the Italian peninsula will be considered in relation to the social, political, and intellectual life of the time. The course will begin with the villas and gardens of ancient Rome and the sources (literary and archaeological) available to Renaissance patrons anxious to create country retreats all’antica. We will then trace the development of villa culture in the early modern period, considering questions of typology, patronage, function, and decoration – with particular attention to collections of antiquities, curiosities, and botanical specimens, and to gardens. We will look at villas in terms of their natural environments, whether pleasure grounds or agricultural lands, focusing on questions of aesthetics, iconography, gender, technology, and ritual or social use. At least one session will be devoted to the representation of gardens and landscape in contemporary prints, and students will be encouraged to work directly with original materials available in New York collections, particularly those of the Cooper Hewitt.
Open to: All university graduate degree students.