Cultivating the Renaissance A Social History of the Medici Tuscan Villas
By exploring the evolution of the Medici family’s villas, Cultivating the Renaissance charts the shifting politics, philosophy and aesthetics of the age and chronicles the rise of an extraordinary family from obscure farmers to European royalty.
From the fourteenth to the eighteenth century, the Medici family dominated European life. While promoting both arts and sciences, the Medici helped create a new style of architecture, present a new idea of villa life and promote the novel idea of living in harmony with nature. Used variously for pleasure and sports, scholarly and amorous liaisons, commercial enterprise and botanical experimentation, their villas both expressed and influenced contemporary ideas on politics, philosophy, art and design. Each patron's public interests and private passions, as well as the architects, artists and philosophers they employed, are examined. Through a chronological approach, this book reveals how the villas were used, their reception by contemporary commentators, their legacy and their current state five centuries after they were first built.
Lavishly illustrated, Cultivating the Renaissance is of great interest to students and scholars of architecture, horticulture, landscape history, philosophy, art and the history of the Renaissance in Italy.
Part 1: The Early Renaissance Villa as Humanist Retreat 1. Cafaggiolo: Averardo's Villa Farm 2. Il Trebbio: Giovanni's Villa Fortress 3. Palazzo Medici: Cosimo's Antique-style Urban Villa 4. Carreggi: Cosimo's Humanist Retreat 5. Villa Medici: Giovanni's Gentleman's Villa Part 2: The High Renaissance Villa as Royal Court 6. Poggio a Caiano: Lorenzo's Villa Temple 7. Castello: Cosimo I's Rural Royal Court 8. Pitti Palace/Boboli Gardens: Eleanora's rus in urbe 9. Cerutto Guido and Seravezza: Cosimo I's Villa Outposts Part 3: The Late Renaissance Villa as Pleasure Palace 10. Pratolino: Francesco's Villa of Marvels 11. Poggio Imperiale: Isabella's Arcadian Fantasy 12. Le Petraia: Ferdinando's Domestic Retreat 13. La Magia, Ambrogiana, Artimino: Ferdinando's Hunting Outposts