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Title: Villa rustica, villa suburbana : Vernacular Italianate architecture in Britain, 1800-1860
Author: Yallop, Rosemary
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 5042
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis examines the emergence and evolution of the Vernacular Italianate style of domestic architecture in Britain. The style was introduced in the form of a series of three country houses by John Nash in the first decade of the nineteenth century. It subsequently evolved over the next five decades into a popular template for the modest suburban house, widely disseminated through the medium of the architectural pattern books. The thesis considers the intellectual sources and antecedents which led to the emergence of this style and influenced its characteristics, analyses Nash's particular vision, and explores how the style was able to make a successful transition from villa rustica to villa suburbana, responding to the social and economic pressures which were at play in the expanding towns of the Regency and early Victorian era. It is a style which has been the subject of limited academic study to date, and the extent and significance of its role as a model villa for the new suburb is a theme which has been central to this research. A case is put forward that the style proliferated for two principal reasons: its versatility and adaptability for houses of differing physical scale and location, and its informal charm, inexpensively achieved, which conferred an air of sophistication appropriate to contemporary social aspiration. Nevertheless, as its popularity and accessibility grew over time the intellectual and aesthetic basis which underlay its origins as a product of the Picturesque aesthetic tended to be misunderstood or overlooked entirely, and by the 1860s the style had become diluted, frequently reduced to a matter of exterior detailing, with little reference either to Picturesque composition or to relationship between house and landscape, in contradiction of the tenets of Picturesque architecture propounded in the late eighteenth century, and in complete antithesis to the approach of John Nash in his original and distinctive Italianate interpretation.
Supervisor: Tyack, Geoffrey Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Architectural History ; Urban History ; Italianate Architecture ; Picturesque Architecture ; John Nash ; Villa ; Suburbs