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Title: Cultivating myth and composing landscape at the Villa d'este, Tivoli
Author: Bay, Miriam Susannah Deborah
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis presents a new reconstruction and interpretation of the ideological programmes at the Villa d’Este in Tivoli, devised by Pirro Ligorio for Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este from 1560 to 1572. It traces the sixteenth-century visitor’s progress through the garden, where a sculptural pantheon of classical deities and demigods located within mythically allusive settings transformed the visitor’s journey into a lushly storyboarded experience, reconfiguring the garden as a site of mythic encounter. Investigating the intersection between the visitor’s symbolic and sensory modes of experience at the Villa d’Este, this thesis pioneers a new approach to Italian Renaissance garden design, synthesising traditional interpretative approaches to iconography with innovative phenomenological methodologies from sensory anthropology and recent ecocritical perspectives on landscape in the Cinquecento. This critical framework reveals how the Villa d’Este’s iconographic schema was augmented by the multisensory effects of water features and plantings, which reoriented the visitor within physically immersive mythic locales and microcosmic visions of the surrounding Tiburtine landscape. It also results in a new ecocritical interpretation of the Villa d’Este, engaging with representations of landscape features and natural phenomena within the garden as creative expressions of and responses to environmental concerns.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World ; DG Italy ; PA Classical philology