Wednesday, November 8:


Reading: Architecture, chapter eight, pp. 316--324.

Andrea Palladio represented a last flowering of Renaissance objectives in a series of buildings concerned with self-awareness through a reduction of building components into a refined harmony. In human terms, again, Palladio fashioned houses and churches of such grandeur that the men and women who use them might indeed take on the god-like appearance we read of in Renaissance philosophy and literature.

Harmonic Proportion: Renaissance architecture stressed the consistent ratio of all parts of their buildings, one to the other and from each part to the whole in height, width and depth. Alberti and Palladio especially favored harmonic proportion, in which the parts of a building stood in arithmetical ratios which were derived from muscial harmony.

That the house may be commodious for the use of the family, without which they would be greatly blame-worthy, far from being commendable, great care ought to be taken, not only in the principal parts, as the loggia, halls, courts, magnificent rooms, and ample stairs, light and easy of ascent; but also, that the most minute and least beautiful parts be accomodated to the service of the greatest and more worthy...As our Blessed Creator has ordered the members of our bodies in such a manner, that the most beautiful are in places most exposed to view, and the less comely more hidden; so in building also, we ought to put the principal and considerable parts, in places the most seen, and the less beautiful, in places as much hidden from the eye as possible... in the remaining part of the fabric there may be great, middle-sized, and small rooms, and all near one another, that they may reciprocally be made use of. Andrea Palladio, Four Books of Architecture, 1570

Key works:

1. Venice, piazza S. Marco, 11th--16th c. [ 089]
2. Andrea Palladio: Basilica, Vicenza, 1546s [ 142 exterior view]
3. Palladio: S. Giorgio Maggiore church, Venice, 1566++; figs. 518, 519.
4. Palladio: Il Redentore church, Venice, 1577++ [ 280 plan; 096 exterior view; 097 cutaway diagram; 278 interior view].
5. Palladio: twelve plans for palaces and villas [ 095].
6. Palladio: Villa Capra (Villa Rotonda), nr. Vicenza, c. 1567 [ 277 plan; 276 view]; figs. 516-517.
7. Palladio: Olympic Theatre (Teatro Olimpico), Vicenza, begun about 1580 [ 110 plan; 109 interior view]