Plan and Elevation of the Garden and Vineyard of Pope Sixtus V



Giovanni Battista Falda, Italian, 1643-1678


Plan and Elevation of the Garden and Vineyard of Pope Sixtus V




First published 1677, MCCM edition published ca. 1688


10 7/8 x 17 3/8 in. (27.6 x 44.2 cm)

Object Number

1996.002 N


Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590) was still a cardinal when he began acquiring land on the Esquiline Hill in 1576. By the time of his death he had put together the largest vigna, or vineyard, within the walls of Rome. An unusual feature of the garden is the triangular plot in front of the main entrance to the property that is pierced by a trivio of three radiating alleys; the central alley leads to the house, while the two at the sides take the visitor into the landscape beyond. The gardens were irrigated with water from the Aqua Felice, the aqueduct that Sixtus had built to bring water to the hills of Rome for the first time since antiquity. Part of its structure can be seen at the left of the plan. The pope's heirs continued to make improvements to the estate. His great-nephew Cardinal Alessandro Peretti Montalto extended the main alleys out into the uncultivated land, added antique statuary, water tricks, and, as can be seen at the lower right of the plan, an oval fishpond presided over by Gianlorenzo Bernini's Neptune and Triton sculpture group.
margin: PIANTA ET ALZATA DEL GIARDINO E VIGNA DI PAPA SISTO V . . . ; below is twenty-three item legend; BR: G.G. De Rossi's address and privilege
The Gardens of Rome (Li giardini di Roma)

Credit Line

Art History Department Fund


Gardens of Rome, Michael C. Carlos Museum, February 14 - May 17, 1998|
Discovering Rome: Maps and Monuments of the Eternal City, Michael C. Carlos Museum, September 16, 2006 - January 14, 2007|
Antichità, Teatro, Magnificenza: Renaissance and Baroque Images of Rome, Michael C. Carlos Museum, August 24 - November 17, 2013
Antichita, Teatro, Magnificenza: Renaissance & Baroque Images of Rome (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2013), 58 (checklist only).


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2008.
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Giovanni Battista Falda, Italian, 1643-1678, “Plan and Elevation of the Garden and Vineyard of Pope Sixtus V,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed February 19, 2019,

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