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In: The Globalization of Renaissance Art


Focusing on the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest states in early modern Europe, this chapter examines the overlapping political and economic careers of great landowners and their building projects. Like their contemporaries in the Veneto, the Commonwealth’s elites amassed latifundia and turned to villeggiatura, a rural lifestyle whose ancient pedigree was widely circulated in agricultural texts and the practices of oeconomia (household management). In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, however, the great landowner’s active service in state politics and military—particularly in the eastern borderlands—necessitated the fortified character of their villa residences and newly-built cities, which were constructed by foreign military engineers. The resource-based economy, furthermore, compelled the interest and development of land-based knowledge (ranging from agriculture, geodesy, cartography), enabling the connectivity between private estates and international markets.

In: Land Air Sea
Architecture and Environment in the Early Modern Era
Land Air Sea: Architecture and Environment in the Early Modern Era positions the long Renaissance and eighteenth century as being vital for understanding how many of the concerns present in contemporary debates on climate change and sustainability originated in earlier centuries. Traversing three physical and intellectual domains, Land Air Sea consists of case studies examining how questions of environmentalism were formulated in early modern architecture and the built environment. Addressing emergent technologies, indigenous cultural beliefs, natural philosophy, and political statecraft, this book aims to recast our modernist conceptions of what buildings are by uncovering early modern epistemologies that redefined human impact on the habitable world.