Ladscape and the enlightenment in Renaissance period of the 13th to 17th centuries

Essay by Anonymous UserA+, October 1996

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It is interesting to see how the landscape can be physically altered just because of the cultural revolution know as the Enlightenment. While many European countries underwent major transformations during the Renaissance period of the 13th to 17th centuries, it had a specific impact on each nation politically, cultural, and environmentally. During this age of enlightenment, two countries in particular, Italy and France, had undergone drastic changes which can be visibly seen through its impact on the surrounding lands. Italy experienced it's Renaissance in the 13th to 16th century, which generally had a dissimilar result, in respect to landscape design, than the French Renaissance of the 17th century. More specifically, the Renaissance led to alterations in the culture of these two European countries which affected the theory, context, and elements of landscape design.

It is necessary to understand the environment and climate to fully discern what natural limitations lie within the landscape.

In Italy, the climate is hot and dry with a generally bright sun overhead and well drained soil below. Most of the land is steep, rocky terrain with sparse tree cover. The main way in which these factors affected design was that terraces were necessary to do any sort of building on these hills. The climate only allowed certain types of plants and trees to be planted in the well drained soil. The lands of France are entirely opposite. The climate is humid with a moderate sun over the very flat, almost rolling, land. The areas were densely wooded and the soil was often moist or boggy. This, too, placed limitations on what could be done with the land, but as was shown by the new political monarchy, nothing would stand in the way of achieving the perfect garden; not even nature. The types of buildings that were...