THE ARTS SOCIETY KENNET & SWINDON
LECTURE: "COMMON GROUND - RENAISSANCE GARDENS OF ITALY"
Monday, 21 January 2019 - coffee from 10am - at the Ellendune Centre, Wroughton
The Sack of Rome in 1527 brought the Italian Renaissance to a crunching halt and
caused a general exodus of patrons and artists into the safety of the surrounding countryside.
Here they found themselves among forested volcanic hills watered by springs, in settings celebrated in antiquity by the Romans and Etruscans.
This led to the creation of country villas surround by lavish gardens.
Theses gardens made geometric order out of the sloping woodland, terracing the ground into
descending courtyards populated by statues, and channelling the natural
watercourses into pools, fountains and cascades.
A surprising number of these sites survive in good order today -
among them the Villa d’Este at Tivoli (shown above - 1560-1575)
Steven Desmond is a chartered horticulturist specialising
in the historic parks and gardens in Britain and Europe.
He writes for Country Life, and leads specialist tours of historic houses
and gardens in Britain and further afield.
His book Gardens of the Italian Lakes is published by Frances Lincoln.