Exaltation of the past or search for modern forms?“; this was the question posed on the occasion of the famous Florentine Exhibition on the Italian garden in 1931. Until then it was the traditional architectural gardens that were the references to look to when composing gardens. One example is Cecil Pinsent’s passionate rediscovery of formal gardens, fuelled by the large British colony that had chosen to settle in Tuscany. In 1935 another landscape architect, Pietro Porcinai, assigned to garden design a specific disciplinary field different from architecture; in this new identity is to be found the way for the modern garden.

The garden of the twentieth century is therefore invested by a mixture of cultural stimuli: one cannot speak of a precise style and direction, but rather of various styles: it is, from time to time, the style of each designer. There is therefore no model to follow, but rather a series of voices, at times discordant, indicating different paths, oscillating between formal and informal, between geometrism and naturalism: from the Anglo-Florentine gardens of Cecil Pinsent to the “déco” by Jacques Gréber in Marlia, to the gardens between tradition and innovation by Porcinai, to the dream garden by Tomaso Buzzi at the Scarzuola.

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