Article ID: CBB642398743

Situating perspectiva in Renaissance Florence. Casamenti, piani e montagne e paesi d’ogni ragione (2021)


This paper examines the social and geographical contexts of architectural landscape in Renaissance Italy, as one possible influence on developments in pictorial representation. A key factor in such relationships concerns the responses of architectural language to different urban and rural contexts during the Renaissance, most clearly characterized by the siting and visibility of suburban villas in the Tuscan landscape. In this arrangement of ideally situated buildings in a landscape, mediated by terraces and geometrically organized gardens and surrounding fields, perspective serves not only as a means of reinforcing the privileged position of the viewing ‘subject’ but also correspondingly communicates to the observer a field of surveillance of the imagined owner /occupant from the villa particularly during times of conflict or dispute. The objective of this contribution is only a hypothesis to work on: these hybrid architectural forms, and their varying perspectival representations, are built within a changing visual panorama of manmade and natural elements where the owner often consciously sought to enhance the importance of his social status, by parading the villa a sort of changeable dress depending upon circumstances or occasion. The people of Florence for example, located within the walls of the city in the Arno valley and surrounded by villas in the foot-hills of Tuscany, would have been acutely aware of these changes manifested through the transformations of landscape and built-form. Consequently, all the villas, with their fortified and classic elements, become a living landscape possessing different characters analogous to the dress and decorum of their owners. This gave rise, within the visual field of the perspectival framework, a hierarchically structured natural, geographical and social tableau.

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Authors & Contributors
Daniela Poli
Farinelli, Roberto
Santinucci, Giovanna
Claudia Candia
Mordini, Maura
Marco Stanislao Prusicki
Geostorie, Bolletino e Notiziario del Centro Italiano per gli Studi Storico-Geografici
Micrologus: Nature, Sciences and Medieval Societies
Renaissance Studies
Firenze University Press
Insegna del Giglio
Aedes Muratoriana
Landscape; landscapes
Science and art
Leonardo da Vinci
Vitruvius Pollio, Marcus
Ghiberti, Lorenzo
Alberti, Leon Battista
Time Periods
Early modern
19th century
16th century
Tuscany (Italy)
Milan (Italy)
Arno River
Alps (Europe)

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