Nympha Loci: Gardens, Statues and Poetry in Early Renaissance Rome


  • Ramondo Guarino Università Roma Tre




This study addresses Nympha loci, the topos of the sleeping nymph as expressed in tangible and intangible form in the humanist gardens of early Renaissance Rome as shown in a confluence of texts, images, statues, epitaphs and epigrams. By collecting fragments of antiquities, humanists and cardinals pursued and shaped an environmental imitation of the Roman horti transposed into the Christian city. These were places devoted to the knowledge and celebration of ancient Rome. The collections were galvanised and enhanced by performances of drama, poetry and oratory, bringing together the political and spiritual values of the sodalitas for the Accademia Romana. The study also considers the transposition of theatrum and scaena within the context of the architectural inventions conceived for Villa Chigi and Villa Madama.

Keywords: nymph; humanism; gardens; Roman academies; collections