This course explores how the notion of nature has unfolded into the concepts of landscape (paesaggio) and territory (territorio) in Italian culture since the Renaissance with special attention to the Tuscan region. There will be two complementary activities along the course: the investigation of philosophical, artistic and historical developments of those notions and the study of concrete cases in art, garden design, and large-scale landscapes.
This investigation subscribes to the changing social and cultural framework of Western Modernity as it moved from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment and contemporary globalization. Such process produced different forms of representation and transformation of nature in both visual and spatial forms, as art and artifacts, from Renaissance paintings and gardens to urban development and the industrialization of vineyards. Ultimately, this course intends to expand the understanding and the experience of how nature continues to be processed into symbolic elements ranging from the domestic to the monumental scales and that participate in the poetry and dilemmas of our individual and shared everyday lives.