The Villas of Pliny from Antiquity to Posterity

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9780226173009: The Villas of Pliny from Antiquity to Posterity

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.

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About the Author:

Pierre de la Ruffiniere du Prey is a professor of architectural history at Queen's University in Ontario.

From 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.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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