Synopses & Reviews
The inspiration for virtually all of RomeGand#199;and#214;s famous gardens, the Vatican Gardens first flourished during the Middle Ages and have awed visitors ever since. Yet despite their importance to the history of Western gardens and art, no full-length study of the gardens has previously been published. With the release of The Vatican Gardens
Gand#199;and#246;the third in a series co-published with the Vatican that also includes The Sistine Chapel: A New Vision
and The Loggia of Raphael: A Vatican Art Treasure
Gand#199;and#246;these important gardens have at last received their full due.
Covering the period from the thirteenth century through 1930, when the Vatican became a state, The Vatican Gardens explores the plants, planters, and architectural structures of the gardens in fascinating detail. Here you will learn about such celebrated gardeners as Michele Mercate, who around 1570 introduced the rarest plants of his time to the Vatican, and the great botanist Johannes Faber. The famous Cortile del Belvedere courtyard, designed by Donato Branmante for Pope Julius II and envisioned as a vast outdoor room, is brought to vibrant life through word and image. Discussion of the GardensGand#199;and#214; symbolic significance, agricultural functions, and upkeep by such gardening popes as Leo XIIIGand#199;and#246;as well as of the gardens at Castel Gandolfo, the pope's four-centuries-old summer residenceGand#199;and#246;completes this authoritative volume.
Illustrated throughout with newly commissioned images and plans as well as historic pictures and diagrams, and featuring research thatGand#199;and#246;among much elseGand#199;and#246;establishes the Vatican Gardens as the oldest botanical garden in Italy, this original volume belongs in the libraries of landscape gardeners, architects, historians, and visitors to Rome.
"The head of Rome's Artistic Cultural Heritage Department, Campitelli presents a scholarly but entertaining history of the Vatican Gardens, including not just photographs but a wealth of historical maps and illustrations. Organized chronologically, Campitelli's volume follows the growth and evolution of the Vatican garden from the 13th century (and Cardinal Orsini, later Pope Nicholas III, the first pope to live at the Vatican). Though meant to represent heavenly Eden ('and to represent on earth the Virgin Mary and her virtues'), the periods of Vatican Garden construction, land acquisition, landscape architecture, and investment closely parallel church and European politics, fashion, and the fortunes of powerful families like the Farnese, Medici, and Borgia. After the sack of Rome in 1527, Paul III ordered extensive renovations and construction, including the cultivation of new plants obtained in the Age of Exploration. Renaissance popes encouraged the new science of botany, and the period's archaeological discoveries inspired Graeco-Roman motifs with clear pagan influences (later removed during the Counter-Reformation). Napoleon ransacked the gardens while occupying Rome in 1798; the century that followed saw only intermittent reconstruction, which resumed in earnest in the 1920s. Closing chapters contain numerous color photos of the contemporary gardens." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)