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Villas of Pliny from Antiquity to Posterity
     

Villas of Pliny from Antiquity to Posterity

by Pierre de la Ruffiniere du Prey
 

Pierre de la Ruffinière du Prey traces the influence of Pliny the Younger as a continuous theme throughout the history of architecture. First he looks at what Pliny considered to be the essential qualities of a villa. He then discusses the many buildings Pliny inspired: from the Renaissance estates of the Medici, to papal summer residences near Rome, to

Overview

Pierre de la Ruffinière du Prey traces the influence of Pliny the Younger as a continuous theme throughout the history of architecture. First he looks at what Pliny considered to be the essential qualities of a villa. He then discusses the many buildings Pliny inspired: from the Renaissance estates of the Medici, to papal summer residences near Rome, to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, and the home of former Canadian prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Equally important to du Prey's study are the many designs by architects past and present that remain on paper. These imaginary restitutions of Pliny's villas, each representative of its own epoch, trace in microcosm the evolution of the classical tradition in domestic architecture. In analyzing each project, du Prey illuminates the work of such great masters as Michelozzo, Raphael, Palladio, and Schinkel, as well as such well-known modern architects as Léon Krier, Jean-Pierre Adam, and Thomas Gordon Smith.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This is not a history of the villa as building type, for which readers are referred to James Ackerman's The Villa: Form and Ideology of Country Homes (Princeton Univ. Pr., 1990). Rather, it treats a much narrower topic: reconstructions of the Tuscan and Laurentine villas that Pliny the Younger described in great detail in his letters dating from the early second century A.D. Du Prey (John Soane: The Making of an Architect, Univ. of Chicago Pr., 1984) has unearthed over 50 of these structures that were built over a range of time beginning in the Renaissance and extending right up to the present. With over 50 color plates, 200 additional illustrations, and 35 pages of footnotes, this book is the most scholarly treatment ever published on this specialized research topic.-Peter Kaufman, Boston Architecture Ctr., Cambridge, Mass.
Booknews
Much of what we know of villa life in antiquity comes from the letters of the Roman statesman Pliny the Younger, whose compelling descriptions have inspired generations of architects and scholars to try designing the ideal country house where money is no object. Du Prey's approach is thematic rather than chronological as he traces Pliny's influence on the history of architecture, exploring the relation between literature and architecture, between building and nature, and between different national schools of art. Illustrated in both b&w and color. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226173009
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
01/28/1995
Edition description:
1
Pages:
404
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 9.19(h) x 1.20(d)

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