Tom Brigden, a PhD researcher at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, has won the British School at Rome's Giles Worsley Travel Fellowship, a three month residential fellowship at the British School at Rome awarded each year to an architect or architectural historian.
He will be undertaking research on 'Rome's vistas', related to his research on the idea of the Protected View in cities and its power over urban and architectural form. Tom will spend his time in Rome researching how the city is viewed, and how it has been viewed historically. Rome has long been admired for its vistas - in the first century AD, the Roman poet, Martial, described a hilltop from which one could “see the seven hills and appreciate Rome in its entirety.” Martial may have been referring to the view from the Janiculum hill, the popular subject of artists and cartographers from Antonis van den Wyngaerde (1525-71), to Richard Wilson (1714-82). Today, this viewpoint remains one of Rome’s favourite and most depicted vistas. Others have achieved a form of cult status, such as the framed vista of St. Peter’s Basilica, as observed through the keyhole of the Cavalieri di Malta on the Aventine Hill, to which curious tourists of every nationality are drawn. Tom will examine research will look at which views define the image of Rome in the mind's eye of the tourist, archaeologist, architect and classical scholar, and perhaps more crucially, why these views?
published on: 26th June 2012