Renaissance Aviaries and Pergolas

Renaissance Aviaries and Pergolas

Openwork, Open Spaces, Connecting Humanity and Nature

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Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, Château de Gaillon, pavillon central du jardin supérieur, avant 1576, dessin, Londres, British Museum


Journée d'études


22 Octobre 2021 - 23 Octobre 2021


Rome, Sapienza - Università di Roma, Facoltà di Architettura, Piazza Borghese 9, aula Magna




  • An interdisciplinary workshop organised by
    Flaminia Bardati, Julien Bondaz, Emmanuel Lurin, Natsumi Nonaka & Mélanie Roustan



Anonymous, Donator with a cage, ca. 1479 (Strasbourg, musée des Beaux-Arts) ; Jacques Androuet Du Cerceau, Gaillon Castle, Upper Garden, before 1576 (London, British Museum) ; Ludovico Pozzoserrato, Ritratto di un gentiluomo, XVI c. (Treviso, Museo Luigi Bailo) ; Salomon de Caus, model for an aviary (Hortus Palatinus (...), Francfort, 1620) ; Rome, Palazzo Altemps, painted loggia, ca. 1595 ; Giovanni Pietro Olina, Per concento del suono far cantare li uccelli (Uccelliera (...), Rome 1622) ; Rome, Horti Farnesiani, Aviaries, ca. 1612-1628.


This study day, part of the Project PuNaCa (Putting Nature in a Cage : An interdisciplinary research project on aviaries) (2019-2022), considers the aviary from a multidisciplinary perspective, bringing together the works of scholars across a range of disciplines, from art and architectural history to anthropology, from musicology to the history of medicine, to emphasize an ethical and holistic approach to nature in design. It aims to be a model of how scholarship on the Renaissance can directly and tangibly relate to the modern world by shifting perspectives and reapplying time-attested ideas in novel ways.

Previous sessions of the Project PuNaCa have demonstrated the unique relationship between birds and humans. Not only are birds part of the material world, but at times they even appear to share the spiritual realm with humans. Thus the aviary, together with its architectural relative, the pergola, opens up a number of fruitful avenues of investigation: form and materiality, technology and craftsmanship, aesthetics and design, scale and dimension, phenomenology and epistemology, space and spatial cognition.

We will start from the typical structure of the aviary&nbs;–&nbs;an openwork frame delineated by a grille. The idea of liminality inherent in the permeable and translucent structure, the metaphor of classification and knowledge symbolized by the grid pattern and netting, and the sensory landscape of the aviary (visual, aural, olfactory, and tactile) are the key themes of the workshop, which will carry on the conversations begun in the earlier sessions of PuNaCa. We will investigate enclosed bird houses, from bird cages in domestic interiors to large aviaries conceived as miniature territories where humans could range among the denizens – or entire galleries where avian citizens reign; open bird habitats, such as pergolas covered with greenery; tree-lined boulevards; ragnaia and paretaio (thickets and hedged enclosures for bird hunting); sculptural bird dwellings built onto stone architecture; and virtual aviaries – architectural interiors adorned with painted pergolas where human beings, rather than birds, moved in splendid confinement. These environments function dialectically, encouraging inversion and role reversal, intellectual games and play, aesthetic and rhetorical flourishes, sensory illusion, material instability, and transmediality.

We will expand our geographical scope by moving beyond France and Italy to encompass a Pan-European and global perspective. Collecting exotic fauna raises practical questions about how they were transported, acclimated, displayed, studied, and documented, as well as how their keepers simulated their natural habitats. The workshop further explores the domains of sound and materiality to reconstruct the avian microcosm and its interaction and intersection with the anthropic world. It reemphasizes its inter- and multidisciplinarity by raising broader questions on bird song and music, the avian state, and birds in the history of medicine and health. As digital technologies are applied to the documentation of surviving structures and the reconstruction of lost ones, new questions arise as to the collecting of data, the choice and application of software, the techniques of representing open structures, the visualization and mounting of the results, and publication and access to the final product.

Scientific committee :

  • Flaminia Bardati, architect and art historian, doctor HDR, is Professore Associato at the Faculty of Architecture of La Sapienza University in Rome, Department of Storia, disegno e restauro dell’Architettura
  • Julien Bondaz is an ethnologist, lecturer at the Université Lumière Lyon 2 and member of the Laboratoire d'Anthropologie des Enjeux Contemporains, as well as the Centre Alexandre-Koyré (EHESS-CNRS-MNHN)
  • Emmanuel Lurin is a lecturer in the history of modern art at Sorbonne Université, Faculté des Lettres and a member of the Centre André-Chastel
  • Natsumi Nonaka is a historian of architecture and landscape, Villa I Tatti Fellow 2020-21, and former Dumbarton Oaks Fellow in Gardens and Landscape Studies
  • Mélanie Roustan is an anthropologist and museologist, lecturer at the Museum national d'histoire naturelle de Paris, member of the Paloc Laboratory (Local heritage, environment and globalisation, IRD-MNHN)


Friday 22, October 2021 – Study Day & Visit

Facoltà di Architettura, Piazza Borghese 9, aula Magna

Session I
Chair :
Marta Salvatore (Sapienza Università di Roma, Dipartimento di Storia, disegno e restauro dell’Architettura)

  • 9h15-9h30 Carlo Bianchini (Direttore del Dipartimento di Storia, disegno e restauro dell’Architettura, Sapienza Università di Roma), Saluti istituzionali/ Institutional greeting
  • 9h30-9h45 Julien Bondaz and Mélanie Roustan, Introduction to the research program Pu.Na.Ca.
  • 9h45-10h00 Flaminia Bardati, Emmanuel Lurin and Natsumi Nonaka, Introduction to the study day
  • 10h00- 10h30 Lucie Gaugain (Université de Tours, CeTHiS), La Volière du château d’Amboise : histoire, architecture, restitution
  • 10h30-11h00 Grégory Chaumet (Sorbonne Université, Centre André-Chastel), La restitution de la volière d’Amboise
  • 11h00-11h15 Discussion
  • 11h15-11h30 Pause
  • 11h30-12h00 Flaminia Bardati (Sapienza Università di Roma, Dipartimento di Storia, disegno e restauro dell’Architettura), Les volières du château de Gaillon sous Georges d’Amboise
  • 12h00-12h30 Valentina Cataldo (University of Florence) and Flaminia Bardat, La restituzione tridimensionale delle voliere di Gaillon (metodo, problemi, risultati)
  • 12h30-12h45 Discussion
  • 13h00-14h00 Lunch


  • 14h30-15h00 Alessandro Viscogliosi (Sapienza Università di Roma, Dipartimento di Storia, disegno e restauro dell’Architettura), Le rôle des volières dans la définition du projet des Horti Farnesiani
  • 15h30-17h00 Visit to the Aviaries of the Horti Farnesiani under the guidance of Prof. Alessandro Viscogliosi

Saturday 23, October 2021 – Study Day and Visit

Facoltà di Architettura, Piazza Borghese 9, aula Magna (aula 8?)

Session II
Chair : Alberta Campitelli (Vicepresidente dell’Associazione parchi e giardini d’Italia)

  • 9h00-9h30 Luciane Beduschi (Villa I Tatti), The representation of birds in music during the late Renaissance : the “Nachtegael” by Jacob van Eyck
  • 9h30-10h00 Natsumi Nonaka (Independent scholar), “Ragnaia” : Harvesting Birds in Early Modern Italy
  • 10h00-10h15 Discussion
  • 10h15-10h45 Pause
  • 10h45-11h15 Emmanuel Lurin (Sorbonne Université, Centre André-Chastel), Cages, volières de chambre, enclos et bâtiments de jardin : les “volières” du château royal de Fontainebleau (XVIe-XVIIe siècle)
  • 11h15-11h45 Mylène Pardoën (Maison des Sciences de l’homme Lyon Saint-Etienne, ingénieure de recherche en paysage sonore), Archéologie du paysage sonore : une analyse sensorielle de l'histoire et sa méthodologie
  • 11h45-12h00 Discussion
  • 12h00-12h30 Round table / Conclusion
  • 12h45-14h15 Lunch

Visit : la voliera di Villa Borghese
(visit limited to speakers only)


27 Octobre 2022 - 28 Octobre 2022 Colloque
11 Juillet 2022 Annonce
30 Juin 2022 - 2 Juillet 2022 Colloque
30 Juin 2022 - 1 Juillet 2022 Colloque

Les membres

Maître de conférences honoraire
Professeur / Professeure
Maître de conférences
Membre honoraire
Directeur de recherche honoraire
Membre honoraire
Chargé de recherche honoraire
Directrice adjointe
Ingénieur d'études honoraire
Maître de conférences
Directeur de recherche
Maître de conférences

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