Palladio (1508-80) was an Italian architect, one of the most influential
architects of our time. Palladio was born November 29, 1508, in Padua,
and trained as a stonemason. Palladio moved to Vicenza in his early twenties.
Originally named Andrea di Pietro della Gondola, he was named Palladio
(after Pallade the goddess of wisdom daughter of Zeus) by the Italian
poet and patron Giangiorgio Trissino, who oversaw Palladio's architectural
studies. Trissino took him to Rome, where Palladio studied and measured
Roman architectural ruins; he also studied the treatises of Vitruvius,
one of the most important of the Roman architects.
In and near Vicenza he designed many residences (Villas) and public buildings
(Palazzi). He also planned several churches in Venice, San Francesco della
Vigna, San Giorgio Maggiore, and Il Redentore. One of his last work was
the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, completed after his death by architect
Vincenzo Scamozzi. Palladio's own use of classical motifs came through
his direct, extensive study of Roman architecture. He freely recombined
elements of Roman buildings as suggested by his own building sites and
by contemporary needs. At the same time he shared the Renaissance concern
for harmonious proportion, and his facades have a noteworthy simplicity,
austerity and repose.
Palladio was the first architect to develop a systematic organization
of the rooms in a house. He was also the first to apply to houses the
pedimented porticos of Roman temples-formal porches defined by a shallow
triangular gable (Timpano) supported by a row of columns. Both these features
are exemplified in the Villa Almerico "The Rotonda". Palladio's
buildings were highly functional. Palladio was the author of an important
scientific treatise on architecture, I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura
(The Four Books of Architecture), which was widely translated and influenced
many later architects. Its precise rules and formulas were widely utilized,
especially in England, and were basic to the Palladian style, adopted
by Inigo Jones, Christopher Wren, and other English architects, which
preceded and influenced the neoclassical architecture of the Georgian
Palladio married Allegradonna, daugther of Marcantonio, and had five children,
Leonida, Marcantonio, Orazio, Silla and Zenobia.
He died on August 19, 1580 in Vicenza, or probably at Maser (Treviso),
while attending construction of the Tempietto of Villa Barbaro.
Andrea_Palladio in English
Andrea_Palladio in French
Andrea_Palladio in Spanish
Andrea_Palladio in German
VicenzaThe City of Vicenza
Vicenza La citta' di Vicenza