Open Access

The Fourfold Water Garden, a Renaissance Invention


The different combinations between the “classic” fourfold pattern and water in the garden have produced a high number of varied solutions since the distant past. However, during the Renaissance a new model emerges: a crossaxial garden with four basins arranged symmetrically around its center. The composite analysis of the related examples is addressed in this paper, which attempts to find an explanation for the different models as for the appearance of the contrasting solution at the same time in two different locations: the Villa Lante (Bagnaia, Italy) and the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo in El Escorial (Madrid, Spain).