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Gordon Campbell

French 16th-century château and garden near Tonnerre, in Burgundy. Antoine de Clermont, brother-in-law of Duchesse de Valentinois Diane de Poitiers commissioned Sebastiano Serlio, who was employed at the court of Francis I, to design the château and garden; construction on a large level site began c. 1546. The house is built around a large rectangular courtyard of majestic proportions. The twelve principal rooms on the ground floor, notably the Chambre des Nudités and the Chambre de Diane, are adorned with tapestries and frescoes. On the first floor, the apartments and galleries were sumptuously decorated by Francesco Primaticcio.

A drawing by Jacques Du Cerceau shows that the original gardens echoed the rectangular shape of the house. A huge rectangular raised terrace was constructed around the house and garden, and this terrace was used as a promenade from which house and gardens could be viewed.

S. Frommel: Sebastiano Serlio, architecte de la Renaissance...


V. Hoffmann

French 16th-century château c. 75 km west of Paris, in the département of Eure-et-Loire. In 1546 Duchesse de Valentinois Diane de Poitiers, widow of Louis de Brézé (d 1531), began to build a modest house in the village of Anet; it underwent considerable and magnificent enlargement (after 1547, until 1553) when her lover Henry II became King of France and placed Philibert de L’Orme and virtually unlimited resources at her disposal. The château is built on a moated site around three courtyards with gardens to the north. Around the middle court, the Cour du Seigneur, were three residential wings and the entrance gate set in a screen wall. To the east lay the estate farm buildings around the Basse Cour, while to the west was the Cour de la Fontaine and beyond it the tennis-court, the stables and Diane de Poitiers’ burial chapel. Largely demolished (1798–1811...


J. J. Martín González

Spanish palace that stands beside the rivers Tagus and Jarama in the province of Madrid, 47 km south of the capital. It was intended as a spring and summer residence for the royal family and is renowned for its gardens and fountains. The summer residence built at Aranjuez in 1387 by Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa, Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, became royal property under Ferdinand II, King of Aragon, and Isabella, Queen of Castile and León. In the reign of Charles V improvements were carried out by Luis de Vega (from c. 1537) and the palace was extensively enlarged by Philip II. The chapel was designed by Juan Bautista de Toledo and completed by Jerónimo Gili and Juan de Herrera. It was built in a combination of white stone from Colmenar de Oreja and brick, giving a two-toned effect that was adopted for the rest of the palace. In ...


Claudia Lazzaro

Italian estate near Viterbo, c. 65 km north-east of Rome. It was built for Cardinal Gianfrancesco Gambara, Bishop of Viterbo, from c. 1568, and the design of the whole estate, comprising small twin palaces (palazzine, called casinos in the 17th century), a formal garden and a park, is attributed to Jacopo Vignola. The garden and the first palazzina were mostly completed by 1578 under the direction of the local architect and hydraulic engineer Tommaso Ghinucci. Carlo Maderno built the second palazzina for Cardinal Alessandro Peretti Montalto between 1611 and 1613. The two buildings were planned from the start and have identical exteriors. Their cubical form, with hipped roof and central belvedere, resembles those of the Villa Vecchia at Frascati and the hunting-lodge at Caprarola, both designed by Vignola. Rural and urban architectural traditions were united in the design of the buildings. The simple block with central projection recalls the towers and dovecotes typical of the countryside, while the exterior stone revetment and classical articulation is reminiscent of urban palaces. The floor plan is a variation on a common tripartite plan with a long central space. In the second ...



Claudia Lazzaro

Sacro Bosco [Villa Orsini]

Italian estate below the hill town of Bomarzo, near Viterbo. The popular name derives from an inscription in the wood, which refers to it as a ‘sacro bosco’, an allusion to Arcadia (1504) by Jacopo Sannazaro. The Sacro Bosco, built for Pier Francesco (‘Vicino’) Orsini (d 1585) from c. 1552, was dedicated by him to his deceased wife, Giulia Farnese. Called a boschetto (little wood) by Orsini, the site is hilly with untouched terrain, although there are also level terraces and rectilinear enclosures. Much was done by 1564; sculpture was added during the 1570s, and work continued until Orsini’s death in January 1585.

The original planting plan is unknown, and since the rediscovery of the site in the 1940s much has been replanted. The stream may have been dammed to form a lake in the areas of the present entrance and the path lined with heads (moved there in the modern restoration). The original entrance was probably near the Leaning House, the former location of the sphinxes, as their inscriptions address the entering visitor. The hypothesis of a formal garden contemporary with the Sacro Bosco on the hillside above must be rejected without further evidence....


F. Hamilton Hazlehurst

(b Saint-Jean-d’Angely, Charente-Maritime, c. 1562; d Paris, c. 1634).

French garden designer and theorist. Of Huguenot origin, he seems early to have enjoyed the favour of Henry of Navarre, later Henry IV. A respected member of the royal entourage, Boyceau was appointed Surintendant des Jardins du Roi in the succeeding reign of Louis XIII. Consequently, he was in a position to exert substantial influence in determining the nature of garden design at that time. In his Traité du jardinage, published in 1638, Boyceau succinctly summarized the history of French gardening and codified the rules that would govern the 17th-century formal garden. For the first time a French designer adopted an aesthetic point of view, thereby promoting the intellectual climate that was to establish gardening as a fine art. He introduced a new feeling for monumental scale to the French garden, insisting that it should reflect a strong sense of organic unity in which order, symmetry, and visual harmony would be all-pervasive....



Donatella L. Sparti

Italian family of collectors. The family, whose origins were in the Umbrian town of Cesi, settled in Rome in the 15th century. In the 16th century they were celebrated for the splendour of the Giardino dei Cesi, a sculpture garden at their palace at the foot of the Gianicolo. This was established by Cardinal Paolo Emilio Cesi (b Rome, 1481; d Rome, 5 Aug 1537), who adorned the garden with antique (and contemporary) statuary. It was inherited by his brother Federico Cesi (b ?Rome, ?1 July 1500; d Rome, 28 Jan 1565), who became Cardinal in 1544 and who reorganized the garden and the palazzo so that it seemed like ‘the entrance to Paradise’ (Aldrovandi). He restored the statues and, above all, constructed an antique sculpture museum (destr. with the palazzo, 1940) with a Greek-cross plan, designed (1556–64) by Guidetto Guidetti and intended for small but precious pieces: it was one of the first buildings constructed purposely as a ...


Jean Martin-Demézil

French château on the River Cher, near Amboise, Indre-et-Loire. Having belonged to the lords of Marques from the 13th century, it was razed in 1411 and in 1513 came into the possession of Thomas Bohier (d 1524), a financier from Tours who became Deputy Treasurer to Louis XII. He set about an ambitious scheme (c. 1514–22) to rebuild the château on the foundations of an old water-mill on the right bank of the river; Diane de Poitiers, mistress of Henry II, and Catherine de’ Medici, Henry’s wife, were responsible for further 16th-century additions. The present pale stone building under tall slate roofs is one of the most picturesque of the Loire Valley châteaux. It consists of a square corps de logis and a narrow, two-storey gallery that spans the river on a series of arches.

Of the medieval building, only the keep on the right bank of the Cher, the ‘Tour des Marques’, survives, with 16th-century alterations. Bohier’s building, on a square plan with round, corbelled turrets at each corner, originally had three symmetrical elevations. The fourth, the east front, is interrupted by the two unequal projections of the library and chapel. Each elevation is of three storeys and is three bays wide, the axial bays being wider, with larger areas of window, and topped by elaborate gables to their dormers. The carved decoration, particularly the delicate Renaissance motifs on the entrance door to the north, is of very high quality....


Dana Arnold

[Du Perac, Stefano]

(b Bordeaux, c. 1525; d Paris, 1601).

French painter, engraver and garden designer. He went to Rome in 1550 and stayed there for over 20 years, soon becoming acknowledged as a first-rate engraver and designer. His work provides an invaluable record of later 16th-century Rome, telling much about the state of the ancient ruins, contemporary architecture and urban planning, especially the work of Michelangelo. Many of Dupérac’s engravings were published by Antoine Lafréry. Those depicting the work of Michelangelo were published in 1569 after the latter’s death (1564); they give a useful insight into Michelangelo’s original, unrealized intentions for such projects in Rome as the Capitoline Hill and St Peter’s. It has been shown that Dupérac designed and painted part of the decoration of the loggia of Pope Pius IV in the Vatican. His work as a painter continued on his return to France in 1570 when, after the publication of his Vues perspectives des jardins de Tivoli...


Janet Southorn

(d Rome, 1505).

Italian banker and patron. He was from a noble family in Rome, prominent in banking and as civic officials, and received a humanist education. He formed a collection of antiquities, which was arranged in the garden of the Casa Galli (destr.), near the Palazzo della Cancelleria, Rome. In 1496, probably through his friend Cardinal Raffaele Riario, he met Michelangelo, who was on his first visit to Rome. Michelangelo came to live in Galli’s house, and Galli bought his first large-scale sculpture, the marble Bacchus (1496; Florence, Bargello). The Bacchus was displayed in the garden of the Casa Galli, where it was recorded in a drawing of 1536 by Maarten van Heemskerck (Berlin, Kupferstichkab.) and in a description c. 1550 by Ulisse Aldrovandi, until its purchase in 1571–2 by Francesco I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Galli is documented as owning a standing marble Cupid, or Apollo, by Michelangelo (untraced, though possibly to be identified as that in New York, French Embassy Cult. Bldg). He also supervised the contract of ...



Barbara Rietzsch

Artificial cavern built above a spring or a fountain, usually in a private garden. In Classical times grottoes were widespread in Mediterranean countries, and after the Renaissance they became common throughout Europe. Used initially as a place in which to honour the Muses and to seek philosophical inspiration, the grotto could also form a pleasant summer retreat, the running water affording coolness and repose. It gradually acquired associations with magic and alchemy, and later with Christianity.

Natural rock grottoes were regarded by the ancient Greeks as the abode of nymphs and deities, and the water emerging within them was considered sacred. In some cases doorways were simulated at the entrances, and later fountain-houses were built, with a basin to hold the sacred water. Hellenistic fountain-grottoes of the 3rd century bc could be semicircular or of a tall fountain type later found at Pompeii, some decorated with shells, others with lion-headed waterspouts. Under the Romans, nymphaea became huge public buildings decorated with tufa, shells and innumerable statues, but those in private gardens, with rich statuary, preserved their traditional character as shrines and seats of the Muses. In Roman literature and painting the idea of the grotto was frequently used to emphasize the rustic atmosphere of a landscape or scene. The ...


Gordon Campbell

English country house and garden in Hertfordshire built for Cecil family §(2), Earl of Salisbury, between 1607 and 1612. The U-shaped house is a distinguished example of a Jacobean nobleman’s house, with a central hall and two symmetrical wings. The large two-storey hall with its minstrels’ gallery and plastered ceiling is a development of the English medieval hall. The state apartments are on the first floor, in the Italian style. The oak staircase that leads to these apartments is one of the finest in England.

The east garden was initially laid out on two terraces by Thomas Chandler, but in 1611 Caus, de family §(1) redesigned the garden, though he retained the services of Simon Sturtevant, Chandler’s water engineer. Water ran from the grand Fountain of Neptune in a garden laid out in parterres down to a water-garden for which Sturtevant built the hydraulics, which included a stream and fountains on an island with a pavilion. The collection of plants from the botanical gardens of the Netherlands, France and Italy was entrusted to John Tradescant (...


Michael Spens


(b London, Oct 8, 1900; d July 16, 1996).

English landscape designer, urban planner, architect and writer. He was educated in London at the Architectural Association School (1919–24). His book Italian Gardens of the Renaissance (with J. C. Shepherd), derived from student research, was published in 1925, the year in which he qualified as an architect. He soon established his practice in London. In the 1930s he was instrumental in developing the Institute of Landscape Architects (now the Landscape Institute) as a professional body. He taught at the Architectural Association School (1928–33), becoming its Principal in 1939. His projects of the 1930s include the village plan (1933) for Broadway, Hereford & Worcs, a model document under the Town and Country Planning Act of 1932, and, with Russell Page (1906–85), a pioneer modernist restaurant and visitors’ centre (1934) at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. Important garden designs of these years include Ditchley Park (...


Gordon Campbell

[Fr.: entrelacs]

Small garden where clipped, low-growing plants are laid out in a series of continuous interlacing bands. The term knot garden is sometimes used in 15th-century English to refer to a maze and in 16th- and 17th-century English to a French parterre (formal flower garden). Knot gardens seem to have originated in the knot designs of carpets and rugs imported into Europe from the Middle East in the 15th century.

The knot garden reached its apogee in England and France with designs printed in Thomas Hill’s The Profitable Art of Gardening (1568, 1608) and in L’Agriculture et la maison rustique (1564, 1570, 1572, 1582) by Charles Estienne and Jean Liébault; the 1572 edition was translated into English as Maison rustique, or the country farm by Richard Surflet in 1600, and the 1608 edition of Hill’s text replaces the knot design of the earlier edition with one borrowed from the ...


David R. Coffin

(b Naples, c. 1513; d Ferrara, Oct 26, 1583).

Italian architect, painter, draughtsman and antiquary. He is best known for his designs for the Casino of Pius IV in the Vatican and his gardens for the Villa d’Este at Tivoli, which greatly influenced Renaissance garden design. His work reflects his interest in the reconstruction of Classical antiquity, although this was sometimes based on fragmentary information, and his painting and architecture are closely dependent on classicism with a richness of detail associated with Roman Imperial art.

He was presumably born into a noble family and probably moved to Rome in 1534. At first he was active producing decorative paintings for palaces: Giovanni Baglione recorded numerous houses in Rome with façades frescoed by Ligorio in a distinctive yellow monochrome in the manner of Polidoro da Caravaggio or Baldassare Peruzzi. The only extant example of his figurative painting is a fresco depicting the Dance of Salome (c. 1544; Rome, Oratory of S Giovanni Decollato). In ...


Gordon Campbell

An artificial hill in a garden setting. The mount was often hollow, and its interior could be used for storage and to provide shelter for delicate plants. Mounts first appear in Italy, where they were a feature of both botanical gardens (where they helpfully produced differentiated microclimates) and villa gardens. The original mounts still survive in the botanical gardens at Padua, Montpellier (where the terraced mount is oblong) and in the Jardins des Plantes in Paris, where the mount was originally planted with vines. The fashion later spread to England, where mounts were constructed at New College Oxford (1529, still in the garden), Theobalds (Herts), Lyveden New Bield (Northants; where two large mounts survive) and, most elaborate of all, Hampton Court Palace. The mount never became fashionable in French gardens, despite the proselytising efforts of Olivier de Serres, who illustrated several mounts in his Théâtre d’Agriculture (1600). Mounts were ascended on spiralling paths, and so were often called ‘snail mounts’ (e.g. the mount built at Elvetsham (Hants), in honour of a visit by Queen Elizabeth in ...


Anna Maria Fioravanti Baraldi

[Benvenuti, Giovanni Battista]

(b Ferrara; fl c. 1500–after 1527).

Italian painter. The name by which he is known is derived from his father’s occupation as a gardener (It. ortolano). A document of 1512, according to which he was then more than 25 years old, supports the hypothesis that Ortolano began his career in Ferrara around 1500. Initially he was influenced by the Quattrocento style of devotional paintings by Domenico Panetti (c. 1460–before 1513) and Michele di Luca dei Coltellini. Subsequently he was drawn to the classicism of Boccaccio Boccaccino and Garofalo, which gave his painting a particular gentleness and clarity of form equally reminiscent of Perugino, as is evident in Ortolano’s Virgin and Child (Paris, Louvre) and Holy Family (Rome, priv. col.). Another work dated to this early period is a lunette depicting the Pietà (1505–6; Ferrara, Pin. N.). Probably as a result of a journey to Venice with Garofalo, he introduced warmer colours and a greater emphasis on naturalism into his painting....


Patrick Goode

Villa and gardens 12 km north-east of Florence, Italy. They were created between c. 1569 and 1581 for Francesco I de’ Medici by Bernardo Buontalenti. By the end of the 16th century the garden was probably the most famous in Europe, because of its grottoes, giochi d’acqua and automata. It undoubtedly expressed an iconographic programme, but no totally convincing one has yet been proposed.

According to Montaigne (Voyage à l’Italie…), the Prince chose (mid-November 1580) a barren, very mountainous and waterless site (of 250 ha) in order to demonstrate his mastery over nature. Its water displays, which especially intrigued English visitors from Fynes Moryson (1617) onwards, were designed to excel those of the Villa d’Este (see Tivoli, §3).

The house was sited halfway up a hill, which sloped southwards, with the main garden on the south side. Because of the nature of the ground, it was not possible to construct a series of terraces, making the garden seem rather old-fashioned compared to Roman designs of the same period. Around the house was a broad platform with a balustrade, under which lay one of the chief attractions, the grottoes—the first and biggest was that of the Flood, and there were seven others. Here were the ...


French royal château, west of Paris in the Yvelines département. It was begun c. 1124 by Louis VI (reg 1108–37) as a fortified hunting-lodge in the forests of St Germain and Marly on the site of a 10th-century monastery founded by Robert the Pious (reg 996–1031). Around 1238 Louis IX replaced an earlier chapel of 1223 built by Philip II Augustus (reg 1180–1223) with the present Sainte Chapelle, consisting of three bays and an apse (much restored in the 19th century). It has portals, a rose window and sharp tracery details that are clearly by the same hand as the later parts of the abbey church of Saint-Denis (1231–41) and not, as often claimed, by Pierre de Montreuil. It served as a prototype for the Sainte Chapelle in Paris. In c. 1370 Charles V rebuilt the château on an irregular rhomboid plan.

In 1539 Francis I decided to rebuild Saint-Germain, using ...


J. Krčálová

(b Melide, nr Lugano; d Prague, 1552).

Italian sculptor and architect, active in Bohemia. He was commissioned by Ferdinand I, King of Bohemia (Holy Roman Emperor, 1556–64), to design the Summer Palace (Belvedere) in the formal gardens of Hradčany Castle (see Prague §IV 1.) and prepared a model of it in Genoa in 1537. The Belvedere was the most important Renaissance building of its time in Central Europe: with its wide arcade at ground level, the building recalls the medieval Palazzo della Ragione in Padua (1172–1219; loggias 1306), while Sebastiano Serlio’s Regole generali di architettura (1537) may have provided the pattern for the windows. The roof has a double-S profile, and the upper-floor windows alternate with niches. From May 1538 Stella led a group of Italian masons in Prague who sculpted a series of reliefs—the most extensive of their kind in Central Europe—for the Belvedere. The expressive and Mannerist traits of this building are evidence against the identification of Paolo Stella with another sculptor known as ...