Renaissance Porticoes and Painted Pergolas: Nature and Culture in Early Modern Italy, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Renaissance Porticoes and Painted Pergolas

Nature and Culture in Early Modern Italy, 1st Edition

By Natsumi Nonaka


226 pages | 24 Color Illus. | 76 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781472460530
pub: 2017-03-02
SAVE ~$33.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315229133
pub: 2017-02-17
from $28.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


This book is the first study of the portico and its decorative program as a cultural phenomenon in Renaissance Italy. Focusing on a largely neglected group of porticoes decorated with painted pergolas that appeared in Rome and environs in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, it tells the story of how an element of the garden—the pergola—became a pictorial topos in portico decoration, and evolved, hand in hand with its real cousin in the garden, into an object for cultural emulation among the educated patrons of early modern Rome. The liminality of both the portico and the pergola at the interface of architecture and garden is key to the interpretation of these architectural and painted forms, which rests on the intersecting frameworks of the classical tradition, natural history, and the cultural identity of the aristocracy. In the mediating space of the Renaissance portico, the illusionism pergola created an art gallery, a natural history museum, and a virtual garden where one could engage in leisurely strolls, learned conversations, appreciation of art, and scientific investigation, as well as extensive travel across time and space. The book proposes the interpretation that the illusionistic pergola was an artistic formula for the early modern perception of nature.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Mediating Spaces: Portico, Loggia, and Pergola

Chapter 2 Classical Tradition and Vernacular Culture

Chapter 3 Visual Encyclopedia and Trellised Walkways

Chapter 4 Pictorial Fiction and Cultural Identity

Chapter 5 Wunderkammer and Trompe-l’Œil Garden

Chapter 6 Collecting Nature: Virtual Flora and Fauna




About the Author

Natsumi Nonaka received her Ph.D. in Architectural History from the University of Texas at Austin in 2012. Her specialization is art and architecture in early modern Italy. She taught architectural history at the University of Texas at Austin and is currently teaching art history at Montana State University.

About the Series

Visual Culture in Early Modernity

A forum for the critical inquiry of the visual arts in the early modern world, Visual Culture in Early Modernity promotes new models of inquiry and new narratives of early modern art and its history. We welcome proposals for both monographs and essay collections that consider the cultural production and reception of images and objects. The range of topics covered in this series includes, but is not limited to, painting, sculpture and architecture as well as material objects, such as domestic furnishings, religious and/or ritual accessories, costume, scientific/medical apparata, erotica, ephemera and printed matter. We seek innovative investigations of western and non-western visual culture produced between 1400 and 1800.


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / History / General
ARCHITECTURE / History / Renaissance
ART / General
ART / History / General
ART / European
ART / History / Renaissance
ART / Sculpture & Installation
ART / Subjects & Themes / Landscapes
ART / Subjects & Themes / Plants & Animals
HISTORY / Europe / Italy
HISTORY / Renaissance