Eleonora di Toledo and the Creation of the Boboli Gardens
Eleonora di Toledo was associated with fertility themes and ancient harvest goddesses throughout her reign as second duchess of Florence. These associations were based on both her personal fecundity, as the mother of eleven children, and that of the estates she owned and managed, which provided grain to her subjects. In my new book, Eleonora di Toledo and the Creation of the Boboli Gardens, I explore the presentation of these themes in garden sculpture commissioned by her. The establishment of the gardens themselves is also shown to have reinforced the duchess’s association with nature and fertility among contemporaries.