SAH 2013, 66th Annual Conference, Buffalo, 10-14 April

The IAS sponsored one session at SAH 2013.

Perception and Experience in the Italian Garden, 1500-1750
Thursday, 9:00-11:30 a.m., 101D BNCC
Chairs: Tracy Ehrlich, Cooper Hewitt Museum, and Katherine Bentz, Saint Anselm College
Early modern visitors delighted in the gardens and villa estates built throughout the Italian peninsula. Foreigners and local viewers alike  took in the antique statuary displays, contemporary sculpture and fountains, architecture, verdant plantings, flowers and exotic naturalia, and sweeping vistas afforded by these sites. Many described their garden experiences in written or visual form, precious documentation of gardens and landscapes later destroyed or dramatically altered by time. Historians have traditionally employed primary sources to reconstruct the layout of villa and garden spaces, but these sources may also reveal the physical, emotional and social experiences visitors underwent as they moved through gardens and parks. Visual images, poetic verses, travelogues, legal documents, and personal anecdotes tell us something about how gardens appeared; they also form a picture of how visitors used and understood such spaces and how they perceived the garden owner, fellow visitors, or the nearly invisible laborers who maintained gardens. Though several exemplary studies have engaged contemporary theory to interpret the social significance of particular sites, and a few recent essays address the issue of viewer perception in gardens, there remains no comprehensive study of the social history of early modern Italian gardens.

On Monsters and Marvels: Hybridity and the Early Modern Garden
Luke Morgan, Monash University

Green Architecture at the Villa Giulia: The Pergola as Leitmotiv
Natsumi Nona, The University of Texas at Austin

The Draftsman in the Gardens of Rome: The Intimate View
Denis Ribouillault, University of Montréal

From a Fountaineer’s Perspective: G. A. Nigrone on Gardens and Fountains
Anatole Tchikine, Trinity College Dublin

Between Nature and Artifice: Experience in Early Modern Italian Gardens
Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto, University of Pennsylvania

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