Vincent Scully on green

February 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

Vincent Scully in his great book, Architecture: the natural and manmade, said

DURING THE LATE Middle Ages, European urbanism, more or less continuous as an architectural environment since antiquity, took on a new burst of life. That revival was in large measure an Italian achievement, though its influence soon radiated, with its banking, to the north. Through it, Italy not only reinvigorated the town but also revived the Classical landscape and eventually reinvented the garden as a major architectural form.

Deep in the body of the city, its most important building was planted like a seed from which all the rest grew This was the Baptistery, where nameless souls were brought, through baptism, and the Christian community that made the town. Page 183

 

This is the other end of the civilizational process that begins with burial. The key idea is generatively, uniting thought, architecture, and the life cycle. Scully raises further issues that show the pregnancy of the GardenWorld perspective and implications.

 

Indeed, all of Giotto’s great cycle in the chapel in Padua for Dante visited him in 1306, is about human love and how it alone can atone, perhaps, for the terrible nuisance and living in the new cities entails: usery most of all.

Giotto’s view seems clear: In this new world of money, it is only human directness, teaching love even to divinity, that can save mankind. Giotto’s view, perhaps fundamentally Franciscan, represents a true growth in the conception of human nature, seen in the challenging context of the new human environment, which is that of the reviving towns. 

quoted in GardenWorld Politics

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