Life in the Renaissance Villa
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: Parsons The New School for Design
School: School of Art and Design History and Theory
Department: Art and Design History
Course Number: PLAH 4007
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Art History, Theory & Criticism
This course will explore developments in Italian villa culture ca. 1450-1650, focusing on Rome, Tuscany, and the Veneto. We will consider the landscape of the Italian peninsula in relation to social, political, intellectual and spiritual life. The course will begin with the villas and gardens of ancient Rome and the literary and archaeological sources available to Renaissance patrons eager to create country retreats all’antica (in the ancient mode). We will trace the development of villa culture in the Renaissance, considering questions of typology, patronage, function, and decoration, paying particular attention to collections of antiquities, curiosities, and botanical specimens. 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. One session will be devoted to the representation of gardens and landscape in contemporary prints. There will be a midterm, final, and a design project.
Course Open to: Degree Students
Course Pre/Co-requisites:
Open to: All university undergraduate degree students. Pre-requisite(s): first-year university wrting course, and at least two prior history or methods course in art, media, film, or visual culture. One of these courses should be 3000-level.


Open to Undergraduate students.