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La Villa

Bartolomeo Taegio. Edited and Translated by Thomas E. Beck

Publication Year: 2011

Published in 1559 and appearing here for the first time in English, La Villa is a rare source of Renaissance landscape theory. Written by Bartolomeo Taegio, a Milanese jurist and man of letters, after his banishment (possibly for murder, Thomas E. Beck speculates), the text takes the form of a dialogue between two gentlemen, one a proponent of the country, the other of the city. While it is not a gardening treatise, La Villa reflects an aesthetic appreciation of the land in the Renaissance, reveals the symbolic and metaphorical significance of sixteenth-century gardens for their owners, and articulates a specific philosophy about the interaction of nature and culture in the garden.

This edition of the original Italian text and Beck's English translation is augmented with notes in which Beck identifies numerous references to literary sources in La Villa and more than 280 people and places mentioned in the dialogue. The introduction illuminates Taegio's life and intellectual activity, his obligations to his sources, the cultural context, and the place of La Villa in Renaissance villa literature. It also demonstrates the enduring relevance of La Villa for architecture and landscape architecture. La Villa makes a valuable contribution to the body of literature about place-making, precisely because it treats the villa as an idea and not as a building type.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Series: Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii

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pp. ix

This English translation of La Villa is the first to be published. The text that follows is presented side by side with my transcription of T aegio’s original Italian text published in Milan by Francesco Moscheni in 1559, and is augmented with notes, referred to by Arabic numerals inserted into the translation. The plates...

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pp. 1-79

The idea of the villa has a persistent relevance. La Villa will be of interest to many who have been entrusted with the making of habitable spaces because, in his treatment of the idea of the villa, Bartolomeo T aegio articulated the purpose and meaningfulness that he associated with a particular kind of place. La Villa contains...

La Villa

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pp. 82-287


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pp. 289-294


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pp. 295-298

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pp. 299

I am extremely grateful for assistance I received from many people and institutions in the course of this book’s preparation. A grant from the Salvatori Foundation enabled me to travel to Milan, where I benefited from access to more villas, gardens, libraries, and archives than I can mention here. Librarians in Italy,...

E-ISBN-13: 9780812203806
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812243178

Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture