Other antique feature: the entrance is not rounded, but it is square with a lintel: this is
a language choice, because an arch would be structurally easier (and probably there is
an arch behind).
So in case of Palazzo Rucellai we have a smaller palaces, but way richer in
decorations, which give it the same effect in importance and beauty of the bigger
Palazzo Medici it became a model, BUT Palazzo Rucellai is the first of a series of
palaces which will experiment that kind of façade using orders from the ground floor
(as Coluseum). Palaces referring to Palazzo Rucellai: Palazzo della Cancelleria or
Palazzo Riario (1490s), Rome, unknown arch.; Palazzo Piccolomin, Pienza (1470s),
commissioned by Pope Pius II. Two major buildings commissioned by Popes follow the
example of a private palace: this tells us the influence Palazzo Rucellai had!
THEME OF THE TRIUMPHAL ARCH
Alberti used arch motifs of triumphal arch when he built for military leaders or for
important families, as Gonzaga, to celebrate their power. The triumphal arch is still
nowadays and elements representing power, military power, nationality etc… We can
find the use of this symbol also in places where roman architecture doesn’t belong at
all, as in Corea!
Church of Rimini (Tempio Malatestiano), commissioned by Sigismondo
Malatesta 1446 – It was re-built with by Sigismondo Malatesta with the intention to
make a memorial to himself, his wife and the members of his court. This is the first
modern example of a classical solution to the problem presented by the western
façade of a normal Christian church: a high central nave with lower aisle on each side
covered by a lean-to roof. This produce a shape which was not classical. The solution
adopted was to recast the west end of the church into a form based on the triumphal
arch, in order to imply the idea of victory over death. The main model was the Arch of
Constatine, which provided a solution to the problem of the different sizes of the nave
and the aisles, but many details of this façade are taken by the Arch of Augustus. To
solve the problems of dimensions, since the triumphal arch are one storey Alberti
found another form. This building was never completed but Alberti’s intentions are
understandable from the remains and from a medal cast of Matteo de’ Pasti, which
was Alberti’s assistant and was actually responsible for the building.
Alberti intended to build a large hemispherical dome, carried on ribs. The solution for
the façade was to repeat the arch opening above the doorway using it as a window
and flanking it with pilasters. The roof of the aisles were to be screened by low walls
with decorative motifs.
The general system with the use of two orders, one above the other in the center,
became one of the most common forms in Western church architecture.
Rucellai Chapel, San Pancrazio, tumb of Rucellai (sepolcro), Florence 1467-
Rucellai will have a stone places at the entrance to state the right to identify himself
with the place. Is much more classical than Tempio Malatestiano.
Facade of Santa Maria Novella, church of the Dominican order 1470,
commissioned by Rucellai family - The fact that a church didn’t have a façade was
quiet common because it was not necessary if you want to use the building and
because usually it was felt that the façade had to be paid by a patron and not by the
people of the church.
Sometimes works were started, then stopped, then continued with another style.
Examples: Duomo di Firenze, Duomo di Milano.
The façade was deeply conditioned by the existing building: it is said that Alberti
deliberately used some Gothic forms from other parts of the building.
The inside: is Italian gothic, done 1 century earlier, it is a big church with 3 naves
(large 20m, long 103m); the façade: (from 1467 on) there was a family before who
started to build 2 doors and some pointed arches with sepolcri in gothic style. →
problem of combining styles!
The façade is not really coherent with the mass of the church, but he studies the
façade in a way that the middle of the façade is in the bottom line of the rosone, then
he works with the subdivision of basic geometry. He divided the facades into 2 stories
in such a way that the height of the building is equal to the width , though the two
orders of the 2 floors cannot vertically correspond, because ground floor is larger,
because of the doors etc… so he creates a great separation element, as an attic story.
Then he unify the space through the use of the scrolls, which function is to cover the
aisles. The lower part forms two squares, each of which is a quarter of the bigger
square (strict dependence on mathematics). The upper story is of the same size and is
covered by a classical pediment, which recalls the sacred buildings. The attic storey
and the round arch of the entrance recall the idea of the triumphal arch.
Alberti is able to simultaneously use classical heritage, referring to specific ancient
roman architecture as the Basilica Emilia or the main entrance of the Pantheon and
the previous experiences of high medieval buildings, as the Baptistery of Florence and
the façade of San Miniato al Monte, Florence.
The proportion is still missing, that’s why we need the “attic” element.
The façade is flat, the third dimension is just in the half columns and other few
Materials: white marble from Carrara and green marble from Prato.
The other two churches Alberti worked on are very important because they represent
two main types of church plan: the Greek cross plan of S. Sebastiano and the Latin
cross plan of S. Andrea.
S. Sebastiano 1460 – Alberti died while it was still under construction, and the current
building is an incorrect restiration. We have a diagram by Professor Wittkower which
shows almost all the theoretical requirements laid by Alberti’s treaties.
It has a high flight of steps, because Alberti thought that churches should stand
higher, 6 pilasters supporting the entablature = classical temple-front type. The plan is
the first of a long series of Greek cross plans. Alberti regarded the centrally planned
church as being a perfect form and symbolizing therefore the perfection of God, but on
the other hand he may be also influenced by Early Christian churches (possible
prototype: Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Church of Santa Croce).
Church of Sant’Andrea, Mantova, commissioned by Gonzaga 1462 - is a
pilgrimage church which needed to be rebuilt and enlarged. We have several letters
where he discusses about the church with Gonzaga. (Alberti built for wealthy families
of Florence, for the Pope, for the ruling families of Rimini and Mantova).
There was another project for Sant’Andrea by Manetti (a scolar of Brunelleschi) which
was based on columns, but then he died; few years later Alberti wrote to Gonzaga
saying that his project was more elegant and cost less and that it referred to antique
This is the first project in which plan, general proportions are from Alberti, the others
were just facades. The plan is a traditional Latin cross plan, but with an essential
difference from Brunelleschi’s Latin plan. He decides not to use columns because they
cost a lot, could not easily support big vaulted structures, so instead of the aisles there
are a series of alternating large and small openings; More over important roman
buildings used big vaults and domes with masonry vaults → Alberti explores for the
first time the imitation of antiquity also in the structure and using a barrel vault.
The result is that structural elements are big pillars, with a certain volume.
Potential reunification of space – in Sant’Andrea there was an important relique (Jesus
blood), so few times a year a lot of people came into the church, this implied a specific
functional requirement of unification of space so that the view could be unified on one
object. In the structural elements, the pillars, there are side chapels, which are barrel
vaulted in the other sense, for structural reasons.
There is so a great spatial difference from Brunelleschi’s churches, in fact there are
two axial directions. In this we can see the influence of Roman prototypes.
Some elements of the language remain the same, some evolve, but architecture
depends strictly of the geography, on politics, on function and so on…
The nave has a barrel vault with painted coffering and is by far the largest amd
heaviest erected since classical times. This weight had to be carried on very large
supports. His models were for coffered ceiling / barrel vault with coffered ceiling:
Basilica of Masenzion, Triumphal arches, Pentheon; for the heavy barrel vault to be
supported: the Bath of Diocletian and the Basilica of Constantine.
This Latin cross plan will be copied al lot during the late 16 century.
The façade follows Alberti’s design just for what concerns the pediment. The façade
it’s ambiguous, it anticipates somehow the idea of inside, yet is not true because it is
way smaller than the inside (due to practical reason: a medieval bell tower), more over
the façade it has not just the function of anticipating inside structure (recall barrel
vault, naves) , but it is also a triumphal arch and a portico. (Giant order = order
containing different order of a building). It is the mix of a classical triumphal arch and
a classical temple front. The result are small openings at ground level between the
two pilasters, followed by a large opening, and then the repetition of the smaller
doorway. This alternation is the same of the small and large chapels of inside and
derives from the Arch of Septimius Severus in Rome.
Alberti is really dependent on Roman prototypes, but he doesn’t bound to them. He
regards the architecture of the Romans to be superior to the his contemporary
architecture, but he is conscious that men as Brunelleschi were capable to use rules
from classical antiquity in a very good way.
PERSPECTIVE IN ARCHITECTURE
Very important feature of architectural culture and important link between architecture
and paintings. The perspective is the way to represent a 3D space in two dimensions.
Architecture started to be studied also by painters thanks to perspective, before was
very hard to figure how a building would appear in reality. Perspective allows to pass
from drawing to real space. So it was used in the project, but also to experiment
architecture and space.
Through the work of painters and sculpture we can see the evolution on
sperimentation on architecture thanks to perspective. Important for the evolution of
architecture itself. (painting – architecture)
First proof of scientific method to draw in perspective is in 1420 by Brunelleschi: he
gave a public demonstration on perspective drawing on two tavolette representing the
Baptistery as seen from the entrance of the Duomo. He probably elaborated the
system for central perspective.
Without perspective it’s possible to show the multiplicity of a city, perspective is an
exclusion, a radical choice. Perspective defines space and in art it needs one point of
Few years after Brunelleschi’s presentation, Masaccio painted the first drawing
(frescos) with a correct perspective “The crucifission of Christ”, he created a real
space which can be measured and recreated in 3D. There will be 150 years of
development of perspective in paintings representing architecture (Raffaello, Paolo
Uccello, Francesco di Giorgio).
The rise of the merchant classes gave birth to a new ruling class based on the concept
of merchant oligarchy. During this period in fact commerce and political power in the
cities were strictly connected: political power was conferred to the guilds or
corporations, which means that was in the hand of individual families. For these
reasons the houses of the merchants started to have different needs since they had to
be both a working place and a house, but they also had to represent the power of the
family. these houses started to be semi-fortified, to be used as office and warehouse.
The inspiration for this new type was again taken from ancient Rome.
End of 14 cent., beginning of 15 , establishment of a new architectural type: the
ARNOLFO DI CAMBIO
Palazzo Vecchio (or della Signoria), end of 13th cent – it was the Town Hall AND
Bargello, end of 13th cent – it was the official residence od the Podestà. They have
both a strong fortified appearance and both have bell towers. The design is quite
simple with pointed arch before and plain string course making the storyes, there is
rustication and the ground floor windows are small. The plan is a rectangle enclosing
a court. th
Palazzo Davanzati, late 14 cent – it derive from the classical type, but it has only a
staircase court, because it is on a small site, and a very large loggia on the top floor. It
is 5 storey and is covered by rusticates stonework, which gives the idea of great
solidity. The warehouse openings are symmetrical, as symmetrical are the 5 windows
of the other storeys. The piano nobile is obviously the best in term of livability.
From 1430s on Cosimo Medici ruled in Florence.
Michelozzo is highly influenced by Brunelleschi.
Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence 1445 (palace type 1) - It states what a good
palace should be during the Renaissance. It was built under Brunelleschi’s time, who
have done a project for it, which was refused in favor of the one by Michelozzo, a
follower of Brunelleschi (middle 1400). His solutions was simpler and of bigger effect.
Importance of the scale of the building – usually in palaces the vertical dimension was
more important than the horizontal one, because land was expensive; in this palace
the horizontal dimension is more important, to signify the power and richness of the
family. A palace could occupy an entire block. Problem: in the Middle Age the blocks
were not regular, while the shape of these palaces was, this meant that in order to
build a palace they had to destroy entire blocks and houses. Never before the building
of a palace had brought to the destruction of houses. Again this it explains the power
of the family! The Medici bought an entire block, destroyed completely and rebuilt
from scratch, that’s why the shape is so regular.
Façade – it is organized in 3 main stories topped by an enormous classical cornice. The
great stone cornice based on the classical entablature is related to the height of the
entire palace; the ground floor and first floor façade have stones treated in a particular
way: rustication or bugnato (from rustic manner or bugna = round element coming
Rustication recalls the official Florentine architecture (tradition) and the antique roman
architecture (antiquity): that is why is used! Rustication (regularity in horizontal
courses, irregularity in vertical one) – subdivision in 3 parts – different decoration.
Rustication is artificial but the idea is to recall something from nature, rustication
pattern usually doesn’t follow the construction pattern.Examples: Palazzo Vecchio
Characteristic of 15 century palaces is having a pretty closed ground floor (small
windows), which in this case are round, a small string-course in the form of a classical
modillion cornice which serves also as sills for the Piano Nobile windows, which is
supposed to be lighter, more open, the façade pattern changes to bigger stones with a
drawn pattern; the last floor is treated as the Piano Nobile but is completely smooth.
This degradation of rustication give an optical effect that makes the palace even
(In other places is different, due to different way of using the building or different
position. For example in France the ground floor is considered the main floor since
usually palaces were not on the border of the street.)
Use of classical elements also in decorations, like the main cornice of the palace. The
dimension of the cornice is linked to the whole mass of the palace; the cornice is
composed by some elements “all’antica”, analogous to the decorations of Ospedale
Plan: represent a re-working of the traditional type with great attention to proportions
and symmetry. Usually every palace plan was organized around the internal court.
Michelozzo moreover moves all the services near a secondary court. The main court is
designed in such a way to recall the roman peristilium, so fully columnated and in axis
with the main entrance. In the secondary court there were stables for horses etc…In
the back of the palace there was an official garden. Is in the court that we can see the
influence of Brunelleschi: the court is the façade of the Foundlings Hospital folded
around to form a square. Doing so the problem of the angles arose, but Michelozzo
was unable to solve it, in fact at the angles there is a column, which make them
appear weak. Another unfortunate effect of the folding of the façade is the grouping of
the windows. Is was in Rome and Urbino that all these problems were solved.
Entrance → court → garden : typical roman sequence in houses BUT almost nothing
was known directly about the roman house; all they knew was about big buildings or
imperial houses and from Vitruvius.
The main staircase was still not important.
The palace was both private and public at the same time: it was the house, the bank,
it had official function. Private apartments were also public spaces, and this explain
the important investments made in these buildings. Palaces to stock goods; the
ground floor has this function and so it had to be organized in a good way (these
people were all merchants and all bankers); at ground floor it may have places for
guards too. th
Palazzo Medici-Riccardi will have a big influence throughout all the 15 century.
LEON BATTISTA ALBERTI
Palazzo Rucellai, Florence 1446 (palace type 2) - Palazzo Rucellai still follows
Medici’s model somehow: it has 3 main stories, a closer ground floor and a more open
first floor, higher and with bigger cornice. This palace it represents the first consistent
attempt to apply the orders to a palace front, with the consequence that the whole
building has a much more consciously antique air. The openings are bifore or
mullioned windows, with round arches (intrados round, extrados still pointed). The
façade is very well studied, in fact is supposed to be read, through the help pf the 2
doors, in a rhythm AABAABAA (last A never built). This wall is treated as a pattern is
drawn: it has a flat and polished rustication, the orders are used to divide the building
both horizontally both vertically, but the horizontal rhythm is more important than the
vertical. We can clearly see Alberti took inspiration from the Colosseum, which has the
top 2 stories with Corinthian columns followed by Corinthian pilasters; in Palazzo
Rucellai the ground floor has a Tuscan-type pilaster, the piano nobile a rich form of
Corinthian and the last floor a simpler type of Corinthian. This first attempt of
superimposition of orders of course meets some difficulties in following the
proportions, in fact we see a change in proportions, but there is not yet a proportion
between façade, entablature and orders. For the ground floor there is a high base
forming a seat with a back made in stones carved in a diamond pattern to imitate the
Roman opus reticulatum.
We know Alberti was completely unaware of the structural reasons for which the
orders were used, for him they are useful for decorative aims and visual effects.
Other antique feature: the entrance is not rounded, but it is square with a lintel: this is
a language choice, because an arch would be structurally easier (and probably there is
an arch behind).
Moreover there was the problem of the entablature: each floor has its own
proportioned entablature, for the last one he made it proportioned to thar floor too,
but to overcome the problem of shadow he made a big overhang.
So in case of Palazzo Rucellai we have a smaller palaces, but way richer in
decorations, which give it the same effect in importance and beauty of the bigger
Palazzo Medici it became a model, BUT Palazzo Rucellai is the first of a series of
palaces which will experiment that kind of façade using orders from the ground floor
(as Coluseum). Palaces referring to Palazzo Rucellai: Palazzo della Cancelleria or
Palazzo Riario (1490s), Rome, unknown arch.; Palazzo Piccolomini, Pienza (1470s),
commissioned by Pope Pius II. Two major buildings commissioned by Popes follow the
example of a private palace: this tells us the influence Palazzo Rucellai had!
Example of the influence of Palazzo Medici.
Palazzo Pitti , Florence 1446, unknown arch. – as we see it know it’s from the
16 -17 cent. Originally it was intended to be of gigantic scale (almost as it is now, it
consisted of 7 bays), than was enlarged. The design might be attributed or to Alberti
or to Brunelleschi. Bought by the Medici, then by the government. It is a bigger copy of
Palazzo Medici, with a bigger rustication, different just in the fact that is missing the
cornice. The mass flat mass all covered by rustication is an architectural statement.
The importance and simplicity recalls roman acqueducts. The fascination of roman
architecture was also in the fact of how it has survived time, and so when a palace was
build they wanted it to last.
Palazzo Pazzi-Quaratesi, Florence, 1462-1470, attributed to Brunelleschi – it
follows the typical late 15 cent trend. It has a rusticated ground floor, while the other
two floors are flat and polished; it contains a certain amount of sculptures applied on
the façade which may be attributed to Giuliano and Benedetto da Maiano.
Palazzo Gondi, Florence, 1490, Giuliano da Sangallo – follows the typical late
15 cent trend. This palace is smaller and simpler than Palazzo Medici. Its most
interesting feature is the transformation of the rustication at the groundfloor into
evenly spaced rounded blocks of more or less the same size. This tendency is
accentuated by the pattern of the first floor.
Palazzo Strozzi, Florence 1490, attributed to Benedetto da Maiano–model is
Medici Palace for any feature, BUT is much larger and has rustication of the same type
of Palazzo Gonzi, running up the whole height of the façade. It differs from Palazzo
Medici in very small details. The grand cornice was designed by Il Cronaca before
Florentine palaces provided model for all the rest of Italy.
Pienza – when Piccolomini became Pope Pius II he began to rebuilt his native village,
renaming it Pienza, after himself. It is a small town between Siena and Perugia. This
occupies an important place in the history of town planning: Pius decided to elevate its
village to the status of city, and to do this he started constructing a cathedral, a
bishop’s palace, a town hall, a palace for himself and for his family. impose an
architectural type, reason why he left clear and strict instructions.
The center of the town was planned to be a single unit based on the cathedral, which
lies on the main axis of the piazza, which side converge toward the town-hall. The east
and west sides of the piazza are occupied by Pius’ family’s palace and by the bishop’s
palace. The cathedral is very unusual since is based on the Austrian church type. Pius
was prepared to impose a new style.
Palazzo Piccolomini, Pienza, Bernardo Rossellino, 1470s – it has few new
features: it is places so that is related to the cathedral and the front of the garden
looks toward Monte Amiata (great view). This palace is almost a literal copy of Alberti’s
one: it’s symmetrical and follows classical principles. The south side of the palace
consists of 3 open porticos, one above the other, simply for the view.
The city of Pienza is one of the first pieces of regular town planning since Roman days
and it contains also the first palace where a view across an extensive landscape is an
Solution to the problem of the angle in courtyards!
Palazzo Venezia, Rome, 1467-1471 - Influence of Alberti. It follows the classical
prototype, as Colosseum or Theatre of Marcellus. The court is formed by a series of
arches carried by solid piers. The piers have half columns set on high base, used as
decoration. In the angles the piers have a L-shape, which confers a great solidity; the
spacing of the columns is better organized.
Probably this idea was worked out by Alberti, which used it in the Benediction Loggia
of the Old St Peter, which is known by us through drawings: here we see the link
between Colosseum and Palazzo Venezia.
Palazzo della Cancelleria, Rome, 1486-1496 – Influence of Alberti. The facade
consists of a high podium with 2 stories above, both of them with pilasters. The
horizontal division is made simpler by the absence of pilasters at ground floor, ere we
found also small rectangular windows. Rustication is distributed along the whole
height. The piano nobile hs grander windows and the attic storey has two windows in
each bay. The façade is broken up both vertically both horizontally by projections at
the end of the façade, although this projections are too shallow to be fully effective.
The rhythm of the façade is more compèlicated: ABABAB. Sills of windows and base of
pilasters are now separated. The introduction of wide and narrow bays leads to a new
kind of proportion. Here there is a large use of the Golden Section.
The court is somehow derived from the Colosseum type of elevation, with columns on
the lower floor and pilaster on the top storey. The two lower storey have wide arches
supported by columns, which recall the Foundling Hospital, but the top storey has
pilasters. The problem of the angles is solved in the same way of Palazzo Venezia: with
a L-shape pier. This part is the reason why we could associate this palace to Bramante,
because he comes from Urbino which is the first place where we find a datable
example of this solution to the angle problem.
Palazzo Ducale, Urbino 1460s – here there are some problems of attribution and
dating; big parts (the courtyard, the main entrance façade) were constructed by
Luciano Laurana; but it was probably complete by Francesco di Giorgio, mainly
concerned with decorations. This palace is situated on the top of a mountain with the
main entrance facing the piazza and cathedral. As in Pienza, the gret view was taken
into account and on the steepest side two round towers were built with headed
openings between them forming a loggia. There is the theme of the triumphal arch.
The court and the main entrance façade are the most important parts.
The main entrance façade is completely different from the other front of the palace: it
is skillfully arranged as a rusticated basement storey with pilasters at the angles and
with 3 large square-headed entrance doorways with smaller square windows between
them; in the piano nobile there are 4 windows flanked (=affiancate) by pilasters and
with strongly modeled straight entablatures acting as hood (=cappuccino) molding for
the windows; above this was planned at least one attic storey. This façade is very
different in rhythm to the Florentine one’s, because due to the 4 windows over 3 doors
it creates a zig-zag rhythm.
The courtyard, instead, clearly refers to Palazzo Medici, but the elements are handled
more skillfully. In both cases the ground floor consists of an open cloister with cross
vaults carried on columns; the piano nobile is closed in and has windows
corresponding to the arches. There are two strong entablatures.
VENETIAN PALACES AND VENETIAN ARCHITECTURE
Venice 15 - 16 century.
The development of Venice architecture is similar to the one of Lombardy. The
venetian renaissance architecture at the beginning (14 century) integrates with
existing architecture, as in Milan, with some contradictions. In Venice Gothic tradition
was really strong, in the ‘400 Venice was a Gothic city. Local architectural tradition:
Gothic + Bizantine architecture.
When the fashion for the classical tradition gets to Venice, it is clear that antique
elements can be clarly adapted to Venetian tradition.
The typical venetian palace is very different from others Italian palaces, here we can
clearly understand how the palace is influenced by social, economic and climatic
factors. Almost every Venetian Palace is built on piles driven into water, which means
that there is not dry land on the open court. The political stability of Venice made it
also less necessary to fortified palaces. The venetian palace tends to be a single block
with a style deeply influenced by the trade: influence of Bizantine art, of northern
Europe Gothic ideas.
Usually Venetian palaces are vaulted only at ground floor and at the last floor/slab are
mostly wooden. Composite structure with stone facades and horizontal wooden
structure (light!), also wealthy palaces were like this, wooden foundations. This gives
possibility of openings.
The Doges’ Palace and the Basilica of Saint Mark were the most influencing buildings
for venetian architecture.
Ca’ d’Oro or Palazzo Pisani, 1427-1436 – we see the ingluence of the Doges’
Palace in the shape and size of the windows at the first floor: we see the device of the
double arcade with wide openings on the ground floor and smaller one right above it.
no central court, the ground floor is almost impossible to live.
The typical Venetian Palace has a large opening at water level with a flight of stairs
running up to an entrance hall and some store-rooms occupying the ground floor. The
piano nobile is even more important in Venetian Palaces and this leads to a further
characterization of the venetian palace: the tendency to divide the façade into 3
vertical elements. The main room of the first floor, the Gran Salone, occupies the
center of the façade, while smaller rooms on its sides. This means that the windows of
the Gran Salone, since it can be lit only from the front and the back, must be as big as
possible. Hence the most characteristic feature of the venetian palaces are the great
windows openings in the center of the façade.
This basic type remained unchanged till 18 century, when there were important
modifications, finalized in the systematization of the façade.
Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi (1500-1509) - This façade is very well symmetrically
disposed, the traditional position of the windows is stressed by the fact that the side
bays have a pair of columns, while the windows of the Gran Salone are separated only
by a column.
An architectural type typical of Venice is the type of the charitable foundation of
religious confraternities known as Scuola. These buildings were part hospital, part
schools, but served also as meeting plance. The most famous architecturally are the
Scuola di S. Marco and the Scuola di S. Rocco, which show the extreme conservatism
of venetian architects, coupled with the permanent ingluence of S. Mark, which
influenced almost all the venetian churches.
Church of S. Zaccaria - Another character of Venetian architecture: system of orders
for decorative value, no clear relationship between orders in the façade, rich
decorations. The question of proportion is still very irregular, the proportions between
the entablature and the columns are not fixed yet BUT rich ornamentation: there is not
space without ornaments. Instead of scrolls or triangular shape, there is another
Church of S. Michele Isola (Codussi’s first work in Venice) 1469 – it is
considered one of his finest works because the façade is one of the first marble
facades with antique character. This church was built on the small island which served
as cemetery, so it can be considered a mortuary chapel, and maybe this is the reason
why it is so simple and severe. Is very similar to Alberti’s Tempio Malatestiano.
San Salvatore 1507 – the main interest is that it involves the latin cross plan into a
new form derived directly from Saint Mark: it is a long nave made up of 3 interlocked
central plans, each of which has a large dome surrounded by four smaller domes
(Saint Mark + plan evolved in Milan by Filarete and Leonardo). The latin cross is then
obtained adding transepts and abses.
The north of Italy provides many examples of mixed style which is the result of the
application of classical principles of Tuscan architects to local decorative traditions.
One good example is the Colleone Chapel, Bergamo, 1470s, by Giovanni
Antonio Amedeo – it has a high octagonal drum with a dome and a lantern, which
derive from Florence cathedral. The façade shows decorative elements triumphing
over mathematical proportions.
Certosa di Pavia, 1481, by Giovanni Antonio Amedeo, but also most of the Milanese
architects, painters and sculptures were involved in it – the main lines of the design
are simple, but the façade has a scattered look due to the sculptures.
The most important influence in the north of Italy came from Sanmicheli and
Sansovino, which were active in Venice in the second quarter of the 16 century.
MICHELE SAN MICHELI – born in Verona, went to Rome, Orvieto
Michele San Micheli is the most important military engineer in Venice.
Cathedral of Montefiascone, Orvieto, 1527
Fort at Lido near Venice
Fortified gateways in Verona and elsewhere:
Porta Palio and Porta Nuova - A fortress must not only be strong, but must also
look strong and these gateways look impregnable thanks to the carefully considered
rustication, the banding of the columns and the heavy keystones over the small
arches. Porta Palio has a rusticated outer layer cut back to reveal further rustication,
giving the impression of solidity which is contrasted by the open arcade in the inner
side. Still the outer side is treated with the greatest richness possible in the Doric
In Verona he left 3 important palaces.
Palazzo Pompei, 1530s – it is a version of the Bramante’s House of Raphael but with
a slightly richer texture in keeping the north-italian taste. There are 7 bays with a main
entrance in the central one, which is slightly larger. The end of the building are closed
by a coupled column and pilaster. The even articulation stresses the center and the
ends of the building façade. This is probably due to the fact that the ground floor is
part of the palace, and is not used to host independent shops, which means that the
windows are a bit smaller and the main entrance larger.
The tendency to adapt Bramante’s House of Raphael for new purposes can be seen
also in Palazzo Canossa – here we see a departure from the roman palace in favor of
Peruzzi’s Farnesina. The back of the palace goes down to the Adige, so that the forth
wall is un-necessary and there is a three-sided court with the river at the rear. So in
some ways it recalls also Giulio Romano’s Palazzo Tè. The façade shows the basic
division into a rusticated basement and a smooth piano nobile with large windows
separated by pairs of pilasters. the windows and pilasters are treated in a way to
stress the horizontal direction, as Bramante did in the Belvedere.
Palazzo Bevilacqua 1540s – the façade is an extremely complex interplay of motifs
some of which can be traced directly back to Giulio Romano. The texture of the whole
is much richer: the rusticate dbasement is not only heavily textured, but has order of
banded pilasters and there are richly carved keystones on the windows head; windows
and door openings have an alternating rhythm, big-small, which is then repeated in
the piano nobile. Moreover there is not only the alternating rhythm, but there are
counter points introduced by the small pediments set over the small arches. Though
we think the palace should have been of 11 bays, and not 7, since the main entrance
is not placed in the center, but on the second bay. But this seems improbable, since
otherwise the palace should have been huge. Furthermore there is a great
complication added in the texture of the columns of the piano nobile, which are fluted
(fluting has rhythm on its own) and the entablature is very rich. As a result we have a
series of superimposing rhythms.
Palazzo Grimani – more conscious use of architectural orders (classical balconies,
entablature…), facade with no depth, slab of marble put in front of the other façade,
first and second floor are very open. Question of crowning of last entablature?
Relationship between floors: the dominance of noble floor is not so clear, because
ground floor is very open and decorated too. The main façade is very open also
because the side facades don’t get a lot of light.
Pellegrini Chapel, Verona, 1530s – the plan literally derives from the Pantheon,
stating the desire to emulate antiquity.
JACOPO SANSOVINO – Venice 1486-1570
Jacopo Sansovino is trained as a sculptor. He is formed by Bramante and thought of
himself as a classical architect. He went to Rome at the beginning of the 16 cent with
Giuliano da Sangallo, and thus came in the Bramantesque circle. In 1530s he became
the architect of the building of the Republic of Venice.
Library of S Marco (Libreria Sansoviniana)1537– The library was completed after
his death by Vincenzo Scamozzi. This library, also called Libreria Sansoviniana, is one
of the few buildings known by the name of its architect.
He had to design a building facing both St Mark and the Doges Palace, which should
stand up to both but at the same time not minimize their importance. His solution is a
very long façade which runs parallel to the one of the Doge’s Palace and which has a
matching return façade on the water’s edge. By keeping the roof line lower Sansovino
avoids to dominate the scene, but by using a great deal of decorative sculpture and
rich texture and shade he succeeded in holding his own to the facing palaces. The
details are very rich, but the heaviness of the Doric order has a Bramantesque feeling.
In the treatment of the façade Sansovino takes some liberties with the proportions of
the orders, and greater are the liberties taken in the piano nobile, which has a Ionic
order and therefore is taller than the ground floor portico. The portico in fact is not
really part of the building, since it was intended as a shelter for pedestrians. The
library is on the first floor, the difference in proportions is carried also by the smaller
arches of the library windows, supported by a separated smaller order. These Ionic
columns are fluted, so that they will not clash too obviously with the larger smooth
ones next to them. Above there is a large decorated entablature and frieze, pierced
with attic windows. The effect is of great simplicity, but, at the same time, of richness.
The use of small columns on the first floor windows reminds of the Palladian motive.
This building had to represent security, here Sansovino uses a rusticated language
both at ground and first floor. Correct sequence of rusticated: Dorico + rusticated
(lighter) + Ionic, rectangular openings with flat pediment: very sound structure. The
entablature of the last floor follows just the order and not the whole façade:
importance of central part. Biblioteca marciana – clear relationship between the two
parts: importance of humanist culture.
The Mint (La Zecca) – it was originally two storey high, its purpose was to hold the
bullion reserves of the Repubblic, so this building was and it looked strong. In 1545
Vasari says that Sansovino introduced the “Rustic Order” into Venice in this building
and it is certainly true that the heavy, banded columns are reminiscent of Palazzo Tè
and look forward the great popularity of rusticated columns all over Europe. The
introduction of this order into northern Europe is due to the textbook of Sebastiano
Loggia at the base of Campanile of St Mark – it was intended to harmonize the vertical
shaft of the tower with the very long horizontal of the library. The solution was a single
arcade form with an attic above it, which was divided into panels and ornamented with
reliefs. He uses a triumphal arch rhythm with niches containing statues, so that the
whole is reminiscent of the Library façade, but more decorated.
Palazzo Corner, palace of Cornaro family 1537 – this palace is the culmination of a long
sequence of attempts to regularize the Venetian palace type of which Palazzo
Vendramin-Calergi was a good example. In the Palazzo Corner he takes the rusticated
basement of the type of the House of Rapahel combined with the great triple-arches
entrance of Palazzo Tè. The ground floor has small windows with mezzanines above
them, the piano nobile and the floor above it are treated identically, with windows set
between pairs of columns, so that the 3 windows lighting up the Gran Salone are
almost indistinguishable from the others. On the other end the side windows have
separated balconies, while the Gran Salon has one balcony for the 3 windows,
emphasizing the typical central grouping and at the same time regularizing the
façade, as a whole. This palace became a standard type.
Sansovino and Sanmicheli are aware of the contemporary developments, but at very
little affected by them.
GIULIANO DA SANGALLO
Santa Maria delle Carceri, Prato, 1485 – it resemble the experiments with centraly
planned Church carried out by Leonardo and Bramante in Milan.
His other most important works are Palazzo Gondi in Florence, the church of Prato and
the Sacristy he added to Brunelleschi’s church of Santo Spirito.
Sacristy of Santo Spirito – it resemble the Baptistery of Florence with the detailing
entirely in Brunelleschi’s manner. It is a pure Greek cross, from Brunelleschi, which
shows a ribed dome supported on pendentive, from Alberti’s San Sebastiano in
Mantua. The exterior is much weaker, with a awkwardly proportioned double order.
With him we see the culmination of the Early Renaissance ideas of classical lightness
and purity. The next stage will be reached by Bramante.
How many are the architectural orders? Which kind should we use? How should we use
them? How can we use their elements? Can we mix them? Can we use more than one
For many years these questions were critical because orders were considered the rout
of architecture. They were used to give a meaning (example: no Doric order in
churches dedicated to the Virgin because Doric was considered more masculine, but in
antiquity was not).
Orders are a product of history, defined by a set of elements, rules and uses which
changes in time.
They are 5. In modern history they are a recreation based on the antique. They are re-
created and actually don’t have a connection with antiquity. Orders are historical
recreation of the Renaissance.
“Rule of 5 orders of architecture”
Vignola, 1520-1530 - it gives a complete
system of the orders.
Experimentation on orders and on interpretation of Vitruvius orders, but with a fixed
Vitruvius idea of orders is quite different from our conception: with the orders he
identified the entire building. For Vitruvius there are 4 manners of designing the
These represent different modes of expressing architecture but are not very cheap, so
we have different interpretation during the Renaissance.
Most things that Vignola says are not so coherent with roman ruins, which are richer in
decorations and use orders in a different way. People in Renaissance had to deal with
Vignola’s system was more similar to the porch of the Pantheon (sacred building,
columnade, lintel etc)
Roman’s ruin: post and lintel, but orders not applied on the structure, they had a more
decorative function. Example: Coluseum + superimposition of orders on the same
Vignola doesn’t speak about more orders in the same façade and mixing of orders.
Alberti – question of orders.
He didn’t get to a definition of a system. For him orders are liked to columns, base and
capital. He is the first talking about the 5 order which he calls composite or italic
order (it is created by mixing elements of other orders).
Sant’Andrea, Mantova: no clear classification of Albertian capitals or orders, no
clear logic in proportions; example: shaft of columns with respect to the base it is
always different in Alberti’s works.
The proportion as a whole is still more important than the proportion of single
Study of proportions – series of painting about ideal cities: looking at single buildings
they are not proportioned. No common rule yet!!
The first architectural theorist on orders who states that orders can be defined by a
closed system is Sebastiano Serlio (first half 16 century): he published the
first synoptic tables!
He is ambiguous; he makes a project of 10 books on architecture, assigning the orders
to the 4 book, as Vitruvius, but he published it first.
In his book we see the first systematic approach on architectural orders; he tries to
give a common system for architecture.
He talks about the orders but he refers to the as the 5 manners of buildings: he still
calls it in the Vitruvian way and declares that most of what he says correspond to
Vitruvius. BUT the synoptic table is something completely new (capital, entablature
(which can be divided into 3 parts), column, pedestal all with different properties
according to the order) (1537).
His book will be translated in 4 languages, is the most published, after Vignola, for
more than a century.
1562 – Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola publishes a set of images with short
specification and text attached: “Regola dei 5 ordini di architettura”; used as
structural elements or applied elements, combination of elements, each element of
the orders have different proportions.
(written Alberti – wood cuts Serlio – copper hatching Vignola → high quality, last
Orders can be used structurally or as ornaments; when we use an order in columns,
then the order proportion defines the façade. The modulo of the order is the radius or
semi-diameter of colum at the foot of the column. The dimension of every element can
be defined by knowing the modulo (all fractions of modulo). In this way (modulo) are
independent from the scale, the important thing is to maintain the proportions. After
proportions are calculated then some changes can be made.
Used inside a hall they will end up by defining indirectly also the internal space, but
mostly for the façade. Interesting: orders don’t work with subdivision of simple
geometry; orders have their proportions and architecture has to adapt to them.
With Serlio and Vignola orders are put in a sequence which will remain the same for 3
centuries and which also probably stated the way they mixed them.
Vignola gives the way to draw all the orders, reason why he had so many editions
Difficulty of putting one order over the other in a façade, because also dimension of
arches changes, but this is not part of Vignola.
Palazzo of Villa Farnese - he uses the orders in a spectacular way showing that he
had found a quite fixed system. th
This is the system of expression the characterized all the architecture till 19 century
in eastern world (Europe + USA). This system was built up during a century, from
Brunelleschi to Vignola. th
The use of orders as the Greeks will be considered just around 17 century; Vitruvius
will not remain the main reference.
State of Milan, Duke of Sforza family, Ducato di Milano, II half of 15 century
Milan is mostly under Sforza, after was conquered by France in 1499. Sforza was one
of the major political players in Italy. Milan was an important commerce passage and
important artistic and architectural center.
Both Bramante and Leonardo Da Vinci pass from Milan.
Works in Milan had enormous influence, because it was a place of passage, also in
France (France Renaissance is deeply influenced by Milan). Due to the impression
made by the works of Da Vinci he was called as first engineer for the king of France.
Very established architecture and building traditions; best stone-cutters and important
renaissance and baroque architects come from Milan.
Here different materials from central Italy are used: brickworks, terracotta, marble
from Alps near Milan.
Duomo of Milan – main laboratory in northern Italy (uninterrupted building site)from
middle of ‘300 to 18 century; façade from 19 century.
Enormous church → constructive problems. The problem of façade remained open till
almost contemporary times. The inside organization is strictly gothic, no antique
16 century important architectures around Milan follow models of central Italy.
GIOVANNI ANTONIO AMEDEO
Certosa di Pavia, 1481 – monastery, it was already existing, inside is gothic but the
façade is in renaissance style. Most of the Milanese architects, painters and sculptures
were involved in it – the main lines of the design are simple, but the façade has a
scattered look due to the sculptures.
Characteristic role of ornaments→ the quantity of ornaments prevails over the
structure. Statues all around the façade linked to architectural part; gothic use of
ornaments which are inspired by the antique. Gothic in the sense of “need of filling up
every empty space”. Single elements come from antique, Florentine tradition,
Brunelleschi and Alberti (there is a small influence of Venitian gothic and Bizantine
Strong presence of gothic taste + influence of central Italy + Venice gothic ≠ Santa
Maria Novella where there is a rich decoration but clearly defined structure. Same
portal, both arch and order BUT in Certosa the windows have the same importance of
pillars which host statues (structure + decoration).There are pinnacols, from gothic
architecture. Multiple arches, which are round, as antique tradition, but are an
experimentation of multiple openings of gothic tradition. NO clear structural
definition; structure is defined by ornaments and not by orders. Renaissance influence
is everywhere, but not clearly defined due to the high use of antique ornaments. The
loggia is from antiquity. The sides are not in clear relationship with the central part,
combination of different elements. Every ornament comes from antiquity, but the way
they are used is different from renaissance tradition.
The interior is gothic: ribbed vaults, poli-lobed pillars (= every structural element goes
down and together form the pillar). Amedeo is more a sculpture than an architect.
Cappella Colleoni 1470s Bergamo – it represent the link between Lombardy,
Tuscany and Venice traditions. It has a high octagonal drum with a dome and a
lantern, which derive from Florence cathedral.
Is a very rich chapel for the cathedral. The structure of the chapel is very simple, but
the simplicity of structure is cancelled by the complexity of decorations. The elements
seem to float on the wall. Pinacols without structural value, just decorative. (In a
gothic structure pinacols are developed as structural mean to provide vertical load to
prevent moving or opening of the walls. In the chapel the pinacol is simply
decorative.). The façade shows decorative elements triumphing over mathematical
proportions.Every part is decorated, even the interior of the rose window.
The 3 most influential Florentine artists which worked in Milan were Michelozzo,
Leonardo da Vinci and Filarete.
Castello Sforzesco, Milan 1460s – it shows Florentine forms combined with Gothic
FILARETE (Antonio Averlino)
We have similar combinations between antique and gothic traditions in Filarete’s
His earliest surviving major work is the bronze doors of the Old Saint Peter.
He arrived in Lombardy in 1456 where he began to built the Ospedale Maggiore, which
is now part of the University of Milan. He gave the project for this hospital in the
design of a city invented by him: Sforzinda. Before beginning the design he visited two
great hospitals: the hospital of Florence and the one of Siena.
Ospedale Maggiore – The building was planned as a cross in a square, with the
hospital church standing in the center of the design and being itself a central plan
building. This church had tower on each angle, as Portinari Chapel of Michelozzo. Also
in Filarete work we see that he tried to impose classical forms on the Gothic-mind
craftsmen, but he failed.
So again we have a combination of classical and gothic elements.
Brunelleschi’s portico (Ospedale degli Innocenti) with a fully gothic first floor: bifore,
terracotta mouldings, pointed arches BUT at the center of the façade there is an
antique fully developed order which frame two windows.
(Antique + gothic → tipical of Lombardy architecture and Venice architecture.)
Bricks and terracotta were also materials for decorations → different colors of
Lombardy architecture. The terracotta elements are created from mouldings so usually
they are repetitive. The elements come from the orders.
Relatively small importance to structure + rich decoration is also typical of French
renaissance architecture (combination of their tradition + Milan influence) castle Alzay
de Rideau and Castle Chambord. → example of how decorative taste can change,
without changing the constructive manners.
Massive importance to architectural ornaments.
Cappella Portinari, Basilica of Sant’ Eustorgio 1460s – unknown architect Was
attributed to Michelozzo, but not nowadays, probably is by Solari or Filarete. The
attribution to Michelozzo has a political reason: Portinari was the agent of Medici in
Milan, so when he paid for a chapel he wanted to have a clear influence of Tuscan
It is a brunelleschian type of design, square plan with a dome over it supported on
pendentives, but it also has four small towers at each corner, typical of Lombardy.
Same composition of San Lorenzo, same use of round arches, same use of order,
richer decoration, but clear and simple. The structure defines the space, not the
The architecture of more gothic taste is the one hosting some reliquie. He officially
represent Tuscan architecture in Milan. Also the dome is similar to the dome of
Cappella Pazzi by Brunelleschi: dome “a creste e vele”.
From gothic elements: mullioned windows with pointed arch etc… but it does not
change the general appearance. ≠ different insertion of a drum between the dome
and pendentives = portion of a sphere cut vertically and horizontally that allows the
passage from a square plan to a round one for the dome.
Exterior. More expression of Lombardy tradition: pinacols + lantern (which should be
classical) transformed in the fifth pinacol.
Tiburium → the dome is not fully developed outside, but only inside. Outside the dome
is closed in a “box”. Most medieval domes (Romanesque or gothic) are enclosed in a
tiburium, which has pinacols as structural function. Is the alternative to fully developed
Filarete wrote an important treaty which has numerous images. It consists of 25 books:
the first is an architectural treaty based on the theories of Alberti. The second part of
the treaty is an elaborate fairy-tale about an imaginary city called Sforzinda. Here we
find long descriptions of the city: star-shaped city plan, and long description of
buildings. In the 11 book we find the description of the Ospedale Maggiore and some
drawings. In the 14 book there is the description of the Golden Book, found while
digging in the foundations of Sforzinda; this book contains description of antique
buildings: this shows how for Filarete the remain of antiquity had a magical quality
which deserved to triumph over the barbarous Gothic.
LEONARDO DA VINCI
He worked on a series of centrally planned architectural drawings, evolving also a new
type of representation. Most of his drawings show complex plans and then show the
building at bird eye view, so that it is possible to have a complete idea of the 3D
shape. His drawing were of great importance for Bramante.
Bramante arrives in Milan in 1476. When he gets to Milan he has probably never
worked as an architect, he works as a painter. He was probably the pupil of Piero della
Francesca and of Mantegna. He starts working as a painter for civil architecture. He is
known as a master in perspective painting. He started dealing with architecture
through painting and perspective. Bramante was a specialist in painted architecture.
He is important for the evolution of perspective.
Ancient ruins as model, aestetic quality + finish architecture
S. Bernardino da Siena, painting attributed to Bramante, Urbino - Collage
between ancient and modern, theatrical scenery.(Piero della Francesca is the master of
perspective as a scientific instrument and tool for the definition of special space.)
These works were accessible to people that could go to the collection of Dukes and
important people. Reason why the diffusion takes place in certain locations instead of
others, and there were very few artists which could access to those works.
Painter Andrea Mantegna (Venice and Lombardy).
→ The only worked signed by Bramante before the experience in Rome is “Incisione
Prevedari”, engraving, drew by Bramante and engraved by Prevedari, 1480. What
does it show? Competent architectural design, a temple in ruins. Theme of
“architettura all’antica” + elements of northern architecture, as rich decoration.
As architect he rarely follows the works on building site, he is responsible for the
projects, but we don’t know for sure till which point the construction follows his
Santa Maria presso Santo Spirito (reconstruction) – Church probably designed
not by Bramante, it has a very simple form: one nave directly connected to the chapel
→ very unique solution: T shaped plan + sacristy on a side. Thinks that make this
church important for the future: the east end is constructed as a perspective illusion:
the east end could not be built in the regular way because of a narrow street running
at the end of the building; in order to maintain the ideal spatial effect of the choir,
nave and transept Bramante had to evolve an ingenious illusion: he built a false choir
3D perspective representation to suggest the idea of an altar housing a space behind,
choir dimensions are consistent with the one of the church. Greek cross plan in a
square inside a circle, from early Christian design and from Florentine tradition.
Another reason why this church is important is because it contains the germ of
Bramante’s idea for Saint Peter and because it represent a direct ancestor of many
churches built in Italy in the 16 17 cent.
Self-awareness of Bramante who knows really good how to build up visual
appearances, declaration of technical ability. Probably the exterior of the chapel was
remodeled under Bramante.
5 and 6 cent buildings were for Bramante the examples of good architecture, since
they are his inspiration.
The exterior of S. Satiro clearly show the Florentine influence. Bramante expressed the
cross-in-circle plan by developing the building in 3 stages: the lowest is cylindrical in
shape, with niches between pair of pillars, the second storey consist of the four arms
of the Greek cross (each containing a window) rising above the cylinder, with gabled
roof; at the point where the roof meet there is a square and then an actagonal drum
with windows alternating between pilasters. Above a circular lantern. Decorative
elements are Lombard, but the overall effect is Florentine.
Santa Maria delle Grazie – Dominican basilica convent, 5 naves church builted with
gothic pointed arch structure. Bramante gives a completely different interpretation of
apses, dome (1480) and presbytery. The patrons are the Dukes. Bramante and Da
Vinci worked on it.
It seems almost an independent building from the church. Externally is not so
satisfying. Inside is better, much decoration represents Bramante’s desire. The effect
is that of lightness and clarity given by geometric patterns.
Large volume with dome on pendentives (18m diameter), interesting structure, many
elements of Roman architecture. Round arches defined by walls. Enlarged presbytery
with semicircular abs with half dome with coffering.
(plan) very different languages. Interesting solution of architectural elements: cupola,
umbrella vault, recalling Brunelleschi’s creste e vele, but square plan (new solution!),
umbrella vault in the tiburium.
Exterior – probably Bramante is not responsible for the project of the interior and of
the decorative elements and the exterior is a consequence of the interior: rich
traditional Lombard decorative system which changes in each level. The entablature is
nearer to gothic than classical tradition. The transept is simply a semi-cylinder. These
kind of plans were very simple spaces, but hierarchical (dome, transept…).
After he went to Rome he stopped use this kind of decoration, trying to make his style
heavier and grander, more similar to the monuments from roman antiquity.
Cloisters (3) of Sant’Ambrogio – episcopal complex of Milan’s bishop. Is an
experiment in practical way about the orders.
1. Porta della Canonica – it consists of a series of round-headed arches supported
by columns, with a much larger arch in the center supported by squared piers; it
seems a combination of the cloister of the Foundling Hospital and the colonnade
of San Lorenzo in Milan. Interesting are the columns!
Example: we find a column in a form of a tree which represent a perfect reflection from
the theoretical text weather the orders come from nature or not.
2. The Doric part of the Old Monastery of San Ambrogio. The Doric Cloister is one
of his finest and most mature creations. Probably the most visible influence on it
is the court of Palace of Urbino + Foundling Hospital. The vaults of the cloister
are supported on dosserets above the columns and the columns are linked by a
continuous base. The angle is not a pier, nut a column as in the Florentine type.
The windows of the upper floor do not come at the center of the arch, and are
separated by small pilasters. (from Urbino).
3. Ionic Cloister
CONTEXT - ROME
State of Papacy, but not Vatican state: from near Naples to Ancona, Rimini, Bologna,
dominion changed, but still pretty extended. Bramante is received here in 1503, no
more than 10 years: his stay in Rome during papacy Giulio II or Giuliano della Rovere:
one of most important rulers and art and architectural patrons of Renaissance, he is so
important that what happens between 1503-1520 is probably the most important
period for a city till Avanguard. He was patron of Michelangelo, Raffaello and
Bramante: they were in the right place at the right time! What was built in Rome in
this period became the new standard for architecture.
First decade of ‘500: Sistine chapel, Raffaello’s room painted etc. important figure in
Bramante evolves in the way he uses orders and architectural elements. He uses
thickness of walls as a form that can be sculpted and modeled.
Cloister of the Church of Santa Maria della Pace – Is similar to the cloister of
Sant’Ambrogio in Milan, but there is also the influence of Roman buildings such as the
Theatre of Marcellus. It is on two floors, it breaks the rule of “void over void and solid
over solid” adapting the scheme of the Milanese cloister and in the upper floor
removing the wall and leaving only a central column, due to structural reasons.
There is the superimposition of 2 orders: a Ionic order at first floors, with an interesting
solution in the corner, Corinthian at second floor; they are in sequence also in a
tectonic way (tectonic = good use both in structure and decoration). Second floor: post
and lintel architecture, no arch + independent structural entablature. We can perfectly
recognize the orders, this is a simple and precise exercise in architectural language.
Tempietto of San Pietro in Montorio 1502 - Bramante’s most important building!
It is built for Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain in a spot where it was believed that S.
Peter was crucified there so this place became sacred. The significance of all the
temples outside churches means that this church is also a burial place. Round plan is
associated to burial places as in antiquity sacred places and event, usually martyrdom.
The inspiration for all the 16 cent circular churches is the Pantheon.
Palladio’s 4 book (1570) is dedicated to ancient temples (the best of the best), they
are all ancient buildings, except for one: the Tempietto; Bramante was seen as having
reached the quality of ancient architecture. This has a value independently from the
The Tempietto consists of two cylinders, the peristyle and the cella: the peristyle being
low and wide, the cella tall and narrow; the width of the peristyle is equal to the height
of the cella, excluding the dome. The dome is hemispherical externally and internally.
(Probably inspiration is taken from the Tmeple of the Sybil at Tivoli)
The plan deals with complicated problems because the ring of 16 granite columns
cannot be represented inside so they are represented by 16 pilasters projected, while
inside 8 pilasters represented two by two in an alternative rhythm. All the elements of
the orders are perfectly recognizable, but not Vignolesque, perfect representation of
structure through architectural orders. Walls are not defined as a 2D element, but it is
continuous and seen as 3D place, wall seen as something that can be modeled,
different constructive culture (cement).
The Tempietto is the first modern building to employ the Tuscan order correctly.
Bramante used it because it was appropriate to the character of Peter, but he went
further with the treatment of the frieze, which is carved with alternating metopes and
triglyphs. Also in the Tempietto we find the germ for the grandiose design of Saint
House of Raphael 1512 – it influenced all the palaces for the next two centuries. It is
based on the classical prototype of the insula. The basic idea of a row of shops with
above the living quartes is not new, what is new is the simplification and strict
symmetry of the design.
The ground floor has heavy rustication, a smooth course of stone separates it from the
piano nobile, where there is a Doric order and the windows are framed by a
tabernacle. All the windows have a triangular pediment, so that when an element has
been established it can be repeated. There is a great contrast between the shops and
the living quarters. Every element is clearly distinguishable.
The principles of symmetry, repetition of identical elements and clarity of functions are
Bramante’s main contribution to palace design.
Bramante made also a considerable work for the Vatican Palace. Unfortunately most of
his work for the Vatican Palace has been altered.
Cortile del belvedere – Landscape project, more than architectural. Reorganization
of the papal court right beside S.Peter and Papal palace. Series of arcaded buildings to
house different functions of the palace – multifunctional building complex which
Bramante organizes in a hierarchical way. Is a vast terrace (300 yards) open space,
vast ramp (it’s possible to go with horses).
The most interesting features of Belvedere is how Bramante treated a long plain wall.
The texture of the side walls is enlivened by the contrast between the channeled joints
of the masonry walling with the smooth surfaces of the arches and pilasters on top of
it. the pilasters are paired with a single break of the entablature, although each
pilaster retains a separate base. Between each pair of pilasters is a round-headed
arch. The whole is divided according the Golden Section. This treatment is similar to
Alberti’s Sant’Andrea in Matua inside walls.
Antique models both in architectural elements and decorations (drawinf of Serlio).
Groundfloor: twin Corinthian columns which recall triumphal arch (model of Vignola)
but more of that models Palestrina del Santuario della Fortuna Primigenia: ancient
temple near Rome. Bramante is again working on a grand scale project, modifying
Bramante’s spiral staircase: first example of superposition of 4 orders one over the
other, the order change every 8 columns (Toscanico, Dorico, Ionico, Corinzio), but just
base and capital change.
Palazzo Caprini (for a member of the papal court) - Built very near to Saint Peter.
Perfection of aristocratic palace, interesting use of orders + stressing of importance of
piano nobile. Two stories façade, twin columns, Doric order applied to the wall on a
rusticated base → contrast between rusticated base and finished first floor will have
enormous fortune in the ‘500 (Palazzo Medici: different level of rustication – Alberti’s
façade: ok, but question of the orders)
Base: groundfloor + mezzanine. Can be of any height, no specific decorative elements.
Main floor: defined by the orders. Orders stands on a very solid base: practical and
expressive solution. This will be used as a model during the 16 century (Palladio,
Palazzo Portofesta, Vicenza)
Bramante (dead 1513) was a very self-sure architect commissioned by Giulius II (dead
1512). Continuity after their deaths due to presence of artistic and architectural
workshop in Rome: Raphael workshop.
“Life of the artist”, Vasari
“Life of Raphael”, Vasari: Raphael was very famous, first page is dedicated to his death
in 1520, he dies very young; at his death monument of self-recognizing between artist
and …: they understood an important figure had disappeared + something in
architecture has happened. Bramante and Raffaello reached such a high point that
they became models for contemporary architecture. They didn’t define new rules or
wrote treaties, their works were important! 1502 – 1527 most important years of
Renaissance after Brunelleschi. Rome is the capital of Renaissance art and architecture
Raphael was born in Urbino, as Bramante: influence, artists tend to form communities,
so for sure when Raphael went to Rome, Bramante acted as his protector, also due to
Raphael is a painter, but he studied and moved in central Italy in the open context of
painted architecture, which was part of the role of the painters (perspective). Raphael
drew and painted architectures and architectural places. He was disciple of Parugino,
who painted ideal urban spaces with ideal temple + 2 triumphal arches: perfect
control of space; it reminds of the Baptistery of Florence + orders, typical ‘400
building. At the beginning of ‘500 Perugino will start drawing more massive, solid
structures + thin structures.
Raphael gets to Rome in 1509, his career as architect is enclosed in the 11 years he
was in Rome. Before he was known as a painter. (Bramante was in Rome for 10 years).
He built 3 palaces, a chapel and a villa, determining a new style in architecture.
Raphael sign the beginning of a richer and more dramatic style of architecture: the
Chapel in Sta Maria del Popolo for Agostino Chigi – the shape is very similar to S
Eligio, but here we have a greater richness.
Interesting architectural scale, octagonal (4 pillars) supporting arches, pendentives,
drum, dome. Pillars → saint peter pillars + sequence of architectural elements as saint
peter. He defines architectural elements with respect to decorations. Architecture
thought with respect to decorations.
He isolates architectural frame, wall step back and architectural frame becomes visible
even if decoration is very rich, elements are clearly separate and recognizable (1516-
Bramante and Raffaello re-define antiquity and antique model in respect to different
building types and language… made it in a complete system of contemporary
Palazzo Vidoni-Caffarelli – here the basic elements don’t vary a lot from the palace
prototype, which was his house.
Palazzo Branconio dell’Aquila – known to us from drawings and engravings; it is
altogether different from the House of Raphael. We should in fact compare the
facades of these two buildings in order to see the differences. Palazzo Branconio is
much richer in texture and in the amount of decoration applied on the surfaces; the
decoration of this palace cannot be said to be structural at all → MAIN DIFFERENCE! An
example is the way in which the columns have been moved from the piano nobile to
the ground floor; so the columns seem to support the upper part of the building, which
is exactly what they do not do, since each of them has an empty niche right above. In
the windows pattern there is the alternation of triangular and segmental pediments
and decorative swags (=festoni).
Extreme richness + deliberate inversion of the functions of architectural elements are
typical of Mannerism.
Mannerism is between the renaissance and the baroque. Mannerists artists thought of
themselves as practising a classical style. What is interesting is that the way in which
they changed intentions (16 cent) led them to look for features of antique
architecture which have been neglected before.
The first great treaties on architecture were written at this time (Serlio, Palladio,
This new style was due to a number of factors of which the most important are the
personality of Michelangelo and the fact that the classic style of Bramante and the
early Raphael must have seemed not able to evolve toward something new. There was
so the need to find a more exciting style.
Other reasons why the Mannerist style expanded were the crisis of Reformation and
Counter-Reformation, which divided the Europe for the 16 and 17 centuries. Though
it is not enough to justify the expansion of this style.
Raphael paintings at the Pinacoteca di Brera.
Not orthogonal structure, it is a round temple (reference to Bramante), Ionic order,
different use of shade and point of view: is lower, temple seems to be more massive.
“Lo sposalizio mistico della vergine di Brera”: painting + tempietto = contemporary.
Villa Madama Belvedere
Palazzo Jacopo da Brescia Palazzo Caprini
Cappella di Santa Maria del Popolo Saint Peter
Raphael during the last years of his life will be charged to work on S. Peter, he design
a new project.
Palazzo Pandolfini, Florence – simpler version of Palazzo Branconio, adapted to
Forentine taste and to the idea of villa standing in the country.
The development of the villa in Italy is pretty interesting, since, on one side, it looks
back to the roman villa, on the other it looks forward to a new class which derives
directly on the principles to be laid down by Palladio. One of the finest of these is Villa
Madama by Raphael and others.
Villa Madama out side Rome 1518 – For the cardinal Giulio de Medici, who became
Pope. The original intention was to re-create a classical villa with an enormous circular
courtyard and with a great garden like an amphitheatre terraced into the hillside. Only
half of the building was erected.
There was an important model: the Villa Farnesina (Villa Chigi) by Baldassarre Peruzzi
(1510). Raphael worked as a painter in Villa Farnesina, his work is the result of an
antiquarian culture but also something new. (Difference between villa and palace: villa
usually open on garden, ground floor might be more important than first floor, not
fortified usually, one story buildings.)
Villa Madama is so important since the loggia contains the most magnificent painting
decoration carried out by Raphael and his pupil in a direct imitation of the Golden
House of Nero.
Plan: there are 2 entrances, idea of theatrical sequence of spaces, each one with
different forms following an axis which allows to go through the whole complex. In the
middle great round courtyard. Reconstruction of antique theater resting on a hill side
+ loggia + gardens + water ponds under loggia. Massive roman structure, round
arches, grotesque decorative motives.
Raphael used a lot grotesque decoration = kind of ornament found in a grotto in this
years, since this decorations were very bizarre and particular, reason why grottesco
Peruzzi draws and adaptation of the palace to the villa. Symmetrical but articulated,
open toward internal garden, 2 tuscanic orders.
Raphael uses the Belvedere (use of landscape with ramps and terraces) + Palestrina
Palazzo Jacopo da Brescia (doctor of court) demolished in 1930 - The mode of
Caprini is recognizable and it evolves: pilasters, not columns, second story: attic order
is an abstract idea of an order. In Florentine palaces the main entablature was on the
roof, here the main entablature in on piano nobile, elegant side façade. Nothing is
regular in the plan but the language is of extreme regularity.
On the small façade wider opening to solve the problem of importance.
Excavation in Rome → statues come out. It intensify some characters of ancient art
representing virtuosity but also disharmony. It seems in line with Michelangelo
“Laoconte” (a servant killing a man with his son) it becomes the symbol for 16
century artists: even horrible events could be transformed in art. No compositional
rules will apply to this statue.
1499-1547 Giulio Romano will represent the same episode in a suburban palace:
Palazzo The. The sign that time is changing, and politics to, is the publication of a book
(1528) by a diplomatic, who had travelled a lot: Baldassarre Castiglione (it had more
than 100 editions) “Il libro del cortigiano”, in form of dialogue about manners, about
the way an influent person should behave in public life.
Baldassarre Castiglione has worked for many years for many Italian states and abroad.
Political system was more and more centered on the court = political and social
entourage of a family. Most of European states were administrated and were in the
hands of courts and families; there was hierarchy.
This political system, based on courts, was building also a diplomatic system between
families of different states, economic common language, increasingly homogeneous
political culture. People as Baldassarre Castiglione were responsible for these changes
and cared about defining them.
Once this political system is fixed then a palace changes. Example: Palazzo Madama
staircase is a diplomatic gesture, is an updating of a medieval buiding to make it
function as a diplomatic seat. (A royal palace in Europe worked in the same way:
staircase from ground floor to 1 floor with a landing in the middle).
8 mesi fa
I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher alessiachiambretto di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di History of architecture e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Politecnico di Torino - Polito o del prof Piccoli Edoardo.
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