The Landscape Guide

*High Renaissance Style 1540

See Style Chart

Use: With a departure from the enclosed gardens of the late middle ages, Alberti advised making ‘open places for walking, swimming, and other diversions, court-yards, grass-plots and porticoes, where the old men may chat together in the kindly warmth of the sun in winter, and where the family may divert themselves and enjoy the shade in summer … and have a view of some city, towns, the sea, an open plain’. Medieval gardens had been inward-looking. Renaissance gardens, with their hillside terraces, began to look outward, physically and intellectually. Making a collection of antique statuary became an important garden use. It was a way of looking to history and the fine arts.

Form: The organising principle of high renaissance gardens was first demonstrated by Bramante. He used a central axis to control the layout of house and garden. It integrated a series of rectangular enclosures with terraces at different levels. Flights of steps, alcoves, niches and fountains were disposed in relation to the axis and embellished with statues, fountains and terracotta pots holding flowers and fruit trees.

Chateau de Chenonceaux, Chateau de Fontainebleau, Giardino Botanico (Orto Botanico) Padua, Heidleberg Schlossgarten (Hortus Palatinus), Jardin del Monasterio de El Escorial, Palazzo Farnese, Parco Demidoff - Pratolino, Sacro Bosco/Villa Orsini, Vatican Palace, Villa d'Este, Villa Lante, Villa Madama, Villa Medici at Castello (Villa Reale), Villa Pia, Wallenstein Garden Czech Republic, Castello Branco, Chateau de Beloeil, Colonial Williamsburg, Elizabethan Gardens, Haimhausen, Parque del Buen Retiro, Rubenhuis (Rubens House), Villa Imperiale, Villa Medici (Academie Francaise),