Symphony in green in the Chianti countryside

Symphony in green , Winner of Villa le Barone photo competition Ellen Schneiders

Immersed in nature, in the heart of Chianti, the country manor Villa le Barone, offers to its guests a “symphony in green,” with magnificent views on the green Tuscan hills, olive groves, vineyards, pines trees, oaks…

Green, with all its declensions, variations and combinations surrounds Villa le Barone: there is, in the spring, the tender and bright green of the  new sprouts, the raw green of meadows  and  hills, the dark green of pines, oaks and cypresses, the gray-green of olive trees and sage, the brilliant green of boxwood and, in the fall, the brown green stained by yellow and red patches.

All those greens are soothing on the eyes, refreshing. Grass green for example, is the most relaxing and restful color. A green environment allows the escaping from the stress we are often subject to and attaining serenity. This is why our guests often come to Villa le Barone, to immerse themselves in natural surroundings and to rest on the green chairs of our hotel in the Tuscan countryside while admiring the Chianti hills. We also chose lime green chairs and dark sage green tables to match the restaurant terrace in a green setting. And some of our doors and shutters are painted “wagon green”! Biodiversity at Villa le Barone  is very rich and we have  many green animals: frogs in the pond, (we hear them croaking in the spring), many lizards (completely harmless!) basking in the sun, woodpeckers, grasshoppers…

Colors are not neutral. They carry meaning and symbolic values. Green is the color of nature, fertility, life. It carries the symbols of harmony and nature’s rebirth, growth and youth.  Many authors have studied the symbolism of the green color and I must quote, at this stage, Michel Pastoureau, a French medievalist historian, who also specializes in the symbolism of colors. After having written about blue and black, he has published a beautifully illustrated book,” Vert, Histoire d’une couleur” (Green, History of a Color), in which he traces the long history of social, artistic and symbolic green in European societies, from ancient Greece to the present day. He stresses that this color has long been difficult to manufacture and to fix on fabrics or in paintings. He stresses that green is not only the color of vegetation, but also and especially of Destiny: hope, society games (mats on card tables are green!), luck, money (the dollar is often called ‘ greenback ‘)… It was not until the Romantic period in the 19th century, that green has definitely become the color of nature and that of health, hygiene and eventually ecology.

Relaxation in the greenery at Villa le Barone in Chianti

An entertaining blog,  Enigm Art, talks about the green color in painting, ” a color with character “, which is obtained by mixing yellow and blue. However, until the 18th century, painters used pigments prepared from traditional products (malachite green soil, green artificial copper, green plants). This is the case of the great Italian painters of the 15th century (Mantegna, Pisanello, Botticelli…) or 16th century (Leonardo da Vinci, Raphaël, Titian, Veronese…).
Watercolorists and painters who often come in our country hotel in Chianti, Villa le Barone, will have to exercise all their talents to represent the many different greens they observe in spring! Photographers will also have a lot to do!  As a matter of fact, one of our guests has won one of our photo contests thanks to a composition of images named «Symphony in Green ” in the Chianti countryside… The photo competition will also be running in 2014!