Today I have seen a splendid villa called La Rotunda ….on a beautiful hill…maybe art has never before reached such a level of magnificence. The rediscovery of ancient texts in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Europe changed perceptions. A new group of accomplished architects and artisans collectively ushered in a new era in art, design, music and style. Central to that development was the emergence of the artisan as a creator, an artist who was sought after, supported and respected for his erudition and imagination. A Villa represented, in architectural form, the cultural ideal of rural life. Its frescoed interiors and gardens provided the setting for undisturbed intellectual and creative activities, leisurely conversation with friends and the delights of contemplating the natural and cultivated landscape in different seasons and conditions. The Villa Capra, or Rotunda by Venetian architect Andrea Palladio (1508-1580) was not intended to be a grand house but a suburban pleasure house within easy reach of Vicenza, to be used for parties or recreation. It is a most evocative symbol of the spirit of Tuscany and the Renaissance all rolled into one
Carolyn McDowall FRSA has gained considerable experience and business acumen in her professional career. An independent cultural and social historian, Carolyn is an interior designer by trade. She has been involved in the creative sector for over thirty years in Australia; completing interior design projects, creating and producing innovative corporate and not-for profit (social profit) community events. She has over that time continuously conducted independent research , while designing, developing, and producing educational art and design history programs in conjunction with renowned specialist colleagues.