Medici Gardens: From Making to Design

By Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto | Go to book overview

Conclusion

IN THE SIXTEENTH century, by the time the technique used to lay out a garden had been assimilated into garden practice as thoroughly as grammatical rules had been into rhetorical performance, the scriptores rei rusticae started to codify in writing the relationship between the elements of the garden. That is, they started to put into writing a tradition of garden making, which had resulted from the modus operandi of their predecessors. The result of this process was the production of manuals, or reference books, that would facilitate the implementation and maintenance of a garden. The purpose of these texts was to commit to memory, through writing, the writers’ own horticultural experience and expertise. Their aim, however, was not to produce a garden theory, that is, the definition of a series of concepts, or principles, that would address the design of a garden. And the reason for this is perhaps that a concept of design had not yet been articulated either orally or in written form.

Existing gardens of the sixteenth century, such as those at the Medici villas of Castello and Boboli, show that the process of making a garden evolved from pure habit, or repetition, to what we might call “design.” Artists like Tribolo and Buontalenti adapted to the configuration of their gardens the methods they used in the design of buildings or in the sculpting of statues. And they made use of design tools, such as drawings and models. Hence, with these artists actual gardens became objects of art, endowed with representative power, and meaning. However, whereas these artists were already designing gardens, contemporary writers were still producing manuals on agriculture; and we have to wait until the following century to read that the

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Medici Gardens: From Making to Design
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter One- Medici Gardens 10
  • Chapter Two- From Work of Nature to Work of Art 88
  • Chapter Three- Writing the Garden in the Age of Humanism 99
  • Chapter Four- Practice and Theory 146
  • Conclusion 179
  • Appendix A- Letter by Galeazzo Maria Sforza 187
  • Appendix B- Metric Letter by Alessandro Braccesi 189
  • Notes 195
  • Bibliography 275
  • Photographic Acknowledgments 293
  • Index 295
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