An Infinity of Graces: Cecil Ross Pinsent, An English Architect in the Italian Landscape

Overview

An exploration of the work of the English architect and landscape designer who practiced almost exclusively in Italy from 1907 to midcentury.
English expatriate Cecil Ross Pinsent was responsible for the design and construction of new villas and gardens such as the elegant rural estate La Foce, and the renovation of many historically sensitive ones, including Villa I Tatti, Villa Le Balze, and Villa Medici. Edith Wharton sought his advice; Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson...

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Overview

An exploration of the work of the English architect and landscape designer who practiced almost exclusively in Italy from 1907 to midcentury.
English expatriate Cecil Ross Pinsent was responsible for the design and construction of new villas and gardens such as the elegant rural estate La Foce, and the renovation of many historically sensitive ones, including Villa I Tatti, Villa Le Balze, and Villa Medici. Edith Wharton sought his advice; Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson admired and were influenced by him. Geoffrey Scott, author of The Architecture of Humanism, dedicated the book to him; and Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, England’s premier landscape architect, regarded Pinsent as his “first maestro on the placing of buildings in the landscape.” This first book dedicated to bringing to light Pinsent’s contribution to garden design is generously illustrated with photographs from his previously unpublished albums and archive of architectural drawings and sketches, and his letters to family friends and clients.

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Editorial Reviews

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British garden designer and architect Cecil Ross Pinsent (1884-1963) earned his fame for his elegant Tuscany landscape architecture, which re-visited Italian renaissance designs in imaginative new ways. Admired by contemporaries including Edith Wharton, Vita Sackville-West, and Harold Nicolson, Pinsent has slipped in recent years into relative obscurity among Americans. That neglect lifts with the arrival of this coffee table book tribute to his work in garden design. An Infinity of Graces contains an illuminating selection of photographs, drawings, sketches, and the architect's correspondence.

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“[H]andsome publication . . . beautiful illustrations . . . The scholarly aspects and completeness of this study are evident in the notes and bibliography of this very beautiful book. Highly Recommended.”
The American Gardener
“[A]n engaging and revealing story about Pinsent and his gardens, generously augmented by many of his photographs and drawings. . . . An Infinity of Graces will appeal to a wide range of readers–garden historians, architecture buffs, landscape designers, and lovers of Italy and the Edwardian period. Thanks to Clarke's meticulously researched work, new audiences will come to appreciate Pinsent's lasting influence on landscape design.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393732214
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2013
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 979,266
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Ethne Clarke, creative director of Rodale, writes about garden design and history. She received the 1987 Angel Literary Award, awarded to the best book by a resident of East Anglia, for Art of the Kitchen Garden. Clarke lives in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.

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