Donato Bramante, 1444-1514.

A brief overview of Bramante's work leading up to the early 16th century.
Bramante, born in Urbino, was trained as a painter. After relocating to Milan, he soon found himself in the architectural world. Both Leonardo da Vinci and Bramante worked for the Sforza family, the former would influence Bramante.

Santa Maria presso San Satiro, Milan.

Some of Bramante's important designs:

Santa Maria presso San Satiro, 1478
-known for its perspectival apse.

Santa Maria della Grazie, 1492
-featuring terra cotta decoration and Leonardo's Last Supper.

Tempietto, Rome.

San Pietro in Montorio (Tempietto), 1502
-this served as a martyrium: featuring a centralized plan and the introduction of the balustrade and Albertian harmony.

Santa Maria della Pace, 1500
-unusual for having columns over voids, an example of Bramante's painterly approach.

Belvedere Court in the Vatican Palace, started 1505

San Pietro in Vaticano, 1506
-commissioned by Pope Julius II, this is a conflation of the centralized Greek cross plan (done under Bramante and Michelangelo) and the longitudinal basilica (by Sangallo, Raphael and Maderno).

Week 5, Roman High Renaissance

This week we are based in Rome (with some day trips to Umbria and Montepulciano), where we will see how Bramante has evolved from the Tempietto to St. Peter's ending up at Todi (Sta. Maria della Consolazione) and what kind of impact he has on High Renaissance. Raphael, who continued work on St. Peter's, takes his turn at architecture. We will also learn about Caprarola, Sangallo the Younger and the Elder, and Peruzzi.

Sta. Maria della Consolazione, Todi

This pilgrimage church has been attributed to Bramante, although there is no hard evidence other than stylistic details.
-an elevated platform ( a key Bramantean theory that holy places in which the supreme being is invoked shall be raised up and centralized)
-designed using simple geometric forms, clarity heightened by sparse interior decor and pietra serena
Created in the years 1504-1517, Sta. Maria della Consolazione
-mixes Roman and Tuscan ideas
-shows influence of Sangallo and Brunelleschi
This church is a simplified version of Bramante's original design for St. Peters and involved Cola da Caprarola, a wood worker. Caprarola may have had more involvement than we know, there is still some question as to who actually designed this building.

Palazzo Caprini or "House of Raphael"

Designed by Bramante, the Palazzo Caprini was built between 1501 and 1510, and introduced several novel ideas.
- a move from three stories to two stories
- the more extreme contrast in stories, according to use
- heavily rusticated ground floor and very elegant piano nobile
- balustraded balcony, enhancing transition
- engaged columns instead of pilasters
- built in, nearly indiscernible, string course seperating the ground level shop story

Villa Farnesina, Peruzzi

Peruzzi (1481-1536) was an architect, a painter, and a draughtsman from Siena. He was an important transitional figure in the move from Early Renaissance to High Renaissance. The Villa Farnesina was built (1509-1521) originally for Agostini Chigi, but was later sold to the Farnese family.

-open planning, a shift toward turning outward to landscape
-antique references and motifs
-plain orders (of brick) frame windows with lintels
-plain walls, originally painted with frescoes
-elaborately decorative frieze

Interior of V. Farnesina: Raphael and Peruzzi Decorate.

Villa Farnesina, 1519.

Villa Farnesina, located in the Trastevere section of Rome, features an interior designed and painted by Raphael and Peruzzi.

The loggia di Psyche, modeled after garden arches, tells the story of Cupid and Pysche in heaven. Here, Raphael shows the fecundity of nature and creates an allegory to the marriage of Chigi to his wife. Look here for a more detailed image.

The Sala delle Prospettiva is the creation of Baldassarre Peruzzi, who was a master at prospective and graphic drawing. Combining imagination, ancient architecture, balustrades, and Classical technique Peruzzi was successful in presenting the illusionistic perspective. Compare Peruzzi's painting with a fresco from antiquity (originally found in Boscoreale, near Pompeii, now held in New York City's Metropolitan Museum).

Peruzzi, 16th century.
Fresco, First century BC, Met Museum.

Palazzo dell'Aquila, Raphael

Raphael was born in Urbino (1483) and died in Rome (1520). He is known for his paintings, especially the Stanze della Signatura in the Vatican Palace, which was commissioned by Pope Julius II. Raphael was elevated from a painter to an architect when Julius asked him to take over St. Peter's. The Palazzo dell'Aquila was begun in 1515 and finished in 1520. Unfortunately, it has been destroyed. It featured:
-elaborate surface design, Mannerist style
-texture and decoration vs. House of Raphael, where decoration is confined to balustrades and pediments
-contrast between ground floor and piano nobile
-columns underneath empty niches
The relationship between solids and voids in unusual and complex, as is the rhythm created by placing niches over columns and next to windows. The facade here marks a shift from fortified domestic buildings to an ornamented triumphal arch like structure. The Palazzo Spada is a mid 16th century palace, built by Bartolomeo Baronino and modified in 1632 by Borromini, which resembles dell'Aquila.

Mannerism refers to a period (16th century) between the classical harmony of the Renaissance and the dramatic Baroque, when exuberant and curvaceous decoration responded to and evolved from the ratios and geometry of earlier architecture.

Villa Madama, Raphael

Commissioned by Cardinal Giulio de' Medici (who was crowned Pope Clement VII in 1523), Villa Madama is located on the banks of the Tiber just a few miles north of Rome. Built between 1518 and 1527, Villa Madama was designed by Raphael. Because Raphael died before completion, Sangallo the Younger was assigned to oversee construction. There are some similarities in the design of the Belvedere Court in the Vatican palace:

-quadripartite vaulting with three bays
-influenced by the Roman triumphal arch
-courtyard with circular center, monumental rustic columns set in to exterior wall
-open air ampitheatre excavated into the hillside
-shift from simplicity to splendor

Raphael had been inspired by Pliny's descriptions of villas in antiquity; and so he set out to recreate a classical villa.

Domus Aurea

The interior of the Loggia was designed by Raphael and carried out by Giulio Romano. At this time Nero's palace, Domus Aurea, had been discovered. The grotesche decoration was an exciting source of inspiration for Renaissance artists.

Madonna di San Biagio, Antonio Sangallo the Elder

Built by Sangallo the Elder (1455-1534), a Florentine architect from a family of many architects. This pilgrimage church in Montepulciano was worked on from 1518 to 1529, and then again from 1545 to 1564. Sangallo started with the ideas behind Giuliano Sangallo's Sta. Maria Carceri (Prato) and Bramante's St. Peter's. He went with a centralized Greek cross plan with four towers (only one was built). There are no aisles, a pilastered drum and a central hemispherical dome. Sta. Maria di San Biagio is an example in geometric precision.


Week 3

This week: more on domestic architecture, Leone Battista Alberti's churches, and examples of Albertian influence. We will also be exploring outside of Florence, travelling to Rome, Mantua and Rimini.

Palazzo Strozzi, 1484

The Strozzi family was another infamous and powerful Florentine family. Giuliano da Sangallo (1443-1516) created a model that was meant to out do the rival Medici family. Their Palazzo, started in 1443, follows along the same lines as the Medici palace by Michelozzo with an emphasis on modesty and civic pride.There are some important changes though. The building is slightly taller, the stonework is more refined and the gradation between the stories is much more subtle. The proportions are more harmonious and the internal symmetry has advanced.

Palazzo Rucellai, Alberti

Leon Battista Alberti was born in Genoa in 1404 and lived until 1472, and in many ways he was the successor of Brunelleschi in terms of Renaissance Architecture. While Brunelleschi developed a linear style, Alberti experimented with ideas of plasticity. Alberti was a theorist in the Humanist arts, he was well educated and lived a peripatetic life. He also wrote several treatises. The Ten Books of Architecture, written in 1452 in response to Vitruvius, differentiates Greek and Roman architecture. Alberti was not well versed in the actual process of building, he applied his studies and theories to the conceptual aspect. He was concerned with proportion, the orders, and ideal town planning. In 1455 the construction of the Palazzo Rucellai had begun.

Some things to note here...
-two squared off entrances used to recreate symmetry
-there is a more successful cornice, it simultaneously works as a frame for the top story and the entire structure
-featuring superimposed pilasters: orders used one above the other, Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian in that order upwards, seen on the Colosseum
-ashlar masonry: hewn blocks of masonry laid in horizontal courses with vertical joints
-squared off double lights with lunette, divided by colonnette
-use of minor and major orders at the windows

Palazzo Venezia, Rome

Alberti's ideas were appropriated by many. One example is the Palazzo Venezia in Rome, 1455-1491. Classical symmetry is maintained as is centralization. Like the previously visited palaces, there are seemingly three exterior levels seperated by a string course. While there are similarities, let's look at the differences. This structure is more medieval and fortress like with its high tower and crenellated roof. It does not read as the domestic dwelling of Cardinal Pietro Barbo (Pope Paul II). Another difference is the arrangement of windows, the fenestration. Here we have cross-mullioned windows with classical molding. Topping the 2nd and 3rd story windows are lintels, horitontal beams.

The courtyard loggia exemplifies the solution of the joining of corners. The proportions have finally been achieved here by the doubling of piers. There is a satisfying flow, which was missing in the earlier palazzo's. The arches are now supported on piers with attached, superimpositionized pilasters.

Cancelleria Vecchia, Rome

The first thing you might notice about this building is the use of pilasters. Although this was built at the end of the Quatrocento (1485-1511), more than thirty years after Rucellai, you can see that the pilasters Alberti introduced are still being used on the facade. Using the pilasters and the entablatures, this massive structure seems a bit more customized and interesting. Incorporated are lintels and roundels above the arched windows. Here the cornice is less successful, sized only for the top story.

San Francesco (Tempio Malatestiano)

Alberti was commissioned by the tyrant Sigismondo Malatesta to transform a pre-existing Gothic church into what would become the Tempio Malatestiano, a sort of mausoleum. Built in 1450 in Mantua, it was inspired by the Arch of Constantine and the concept of triumph over death. The arcaded side, with pilasters attached to piers, holds sarcophagi. It was never finished due to financial trouble. It has been speculated that the top story may have been meant to include another arch window.

Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Commissioned again by Rucellai, Alberti was presented with the challenge of adding onto a pre-existing structure. Brunelleschi had encountered similar situations with S. Lorenzo and Sto. Spirito. One problem was that the nave was taller than the side aisles, the other was how to add on to an older building and keep it consistent. Using his ratio theories, Alberti was able to break it down in to a series of organized and proportionate shapes. The height is equal to the width, the top story is half of the bottom, and the pediment on top is the same size of the side volutes combined. The addition of the volute scrolls elegantly solves the disparity in height. Alberti added the major and minor columns on the lower story, seamlessly conflating the Gothic with the Renaissance. Santa Maria Novella was started in 1458 and finished in 1470.

Alberti's San Sebastiano, Mantua

San Sebastiano was commissioned by Ludovico Gonzaga, the ruler of Mantua at the time. For San Sebastiano, Alberti implemented a centralized Greek cross plan. Started in 1460 as one of the only buildings Alberti designed from the ground up, it was never quite finished the way he had intended it to be. The two halves of the temple facade are framed by pilasters, the central void divides the structure up through the pediment, again working off triumphal arches. The church was meant, as you can see by the diagram, to be elevated over a ground level crypt using one grand staircase. Instead the crypt was left open, and two side staircases were added. Six pilasters are shown in the plan, yet there are only four on the actual building. Centrality and symmetry were observed.

Sant'Andrea, Mantua

As the other structure Alberti was able to design entirely, Sant'Andrea was fortunately more consistent with the original plan. Started in 1470, in Mantua, it would not be finished until the mid 18th century. The facade combines a pedimented temple front with a triumphal arch. There are major and minor pilasters, note that Alberti has not been using columns. This marks a progressive transition in the representation of antiquity. The integration of exterior and interior is more refined and in general the structure is described as monumental.

There are no side aisles here, only three barrel vaulted chapels on each side of the nave. There is a central barrel vault at the entrance and lower barrel vaults in the loggia. The interior is different from the other churches we have been looking at. Instead of arches supported on columns or elegant piers, we now have heavy, blocklike piers and coffered barrel vaults. Similar to Brunelleschi's dell Angeli, the space seems carved out. Proportions are carefully planned using ratios and ornamentation.


Week 2, Later Brunelleschi and Michelozzo

We have seen the earlier works of Brunelleschi, the beginning of Romanesque architecture in Florence. Moving on to his later work we will see how he shifts and refines his stylistic choices. While these buildings may not have the defining glory of the Dome and the Florence Cathedral, they are just as innovative. Looking at: the Old Sacristy in San Lorenzo, the Pazzi Chapel, Santa Spirito, and Santa Maria degli Angeli. We will also see the Medici Palace by Michelozzo Michelozzi.


Old Sacristy, 1421-1428

The Old Sacristy is the mausoleum for the Medici family. It is at the south end of the transept in San Lorenzo. The Medici family was the most powerful and influential family in Florence. They were very interested in the cultivation of the arts; for their mausoleum they commissioned Brunelleschi and Donatello. A perfect cube is formed in the sacristy, the walls are equal in height to the sides. The dome is one half the width of the wall and it creates a circle from the square. The Umbrella dome rests on pendentives, which are triangular pieces of vaulting springing from corners used for support.
An Umbrella dome is a hemispherical dome with a circular plan and a ribbed vault.
Brunelleschi used Ionic columns to support entablatures at the doorways, and larger Corinthian columns supporting an entablature that goes around the entire room.
This sacristy is an example of Brunelleschi's mathematical discipline.

Santo Spirito, Florence

Santo Spirito, started around 1434 and finished in 1482, was designed by Brunelleschi. This church follows the basic Latin cross plan, as did S. Lorenzo. However, there are some differences in the two churches. Santo Spirito has more of a sculptural feeling, the side chapels are more open, they also have columns and pediments. Instead of using pilasters for the niche wall Brunelleschi has put in Corinthian columns. The ceiling is flat, with octagon like patterns while S. Lorenzo has square coffers.

Santa Maria degli Angeli, Florence

Started in 1434, design by Brunelleschi
Although Brunelleschi laid out specific plans for Sta. Maria, they were not necessarily followed. Since the building was not completed until the 20th century, we have only his drawings to understand his intentions. The shape was retained, a centralized octagonal dome. Originally, it was meant to have 8 chapels surrounding the dome, which was to be supported by 8 piers and pilasters. The altar would have been in the center.
This was the first centralized building of the Renaissance, and it may have been inspired again by the ancient ruins in Rome, most likely the Temple of Minerva Medica. In the Sta. Maria there is a strong sense of symmetry, a longtime pursuit of Brunelleschi's. Moving away from the modular squares of San Croce, this building is more along the lines of the Santo Spirito with its sculptural tendencies. The rotunda shape has a sense of plasticity, it seems to be carved out of pre-existing material with molded interiors. Although this is a classically influenced structure, it maintains a refreshing vivacity.


Santa Croce, Pazzi Chapel

The Pazzi Chapel in Santa Croce was started in 1440, designed by Brunelleschi. It was not finished until around 1480, after Brunelleschi had already died. Again we have ideas of proportion and geometry. While this chapel is more complex than the Old Sacristy, it maintains modules of circles, squares and symmetry. Another similarity is the difficulty in maneuvering the pilasters around angles. The loggia consists of Corinthian columns supporting an entablature which is interrupted in the center by an arch, which allows greater flexibilty of symmetry.
-barrel vaults
-ribbed dome with oculi and lantern
-attic story with double pilasters

Palazzo Medici, 1446-1457

Brunelleschi had by now established a working relationship with the Medici family, but he was not asked to design their palace. In Florence it was not a good idea to flaunt wealth, especially if you held strength and power in the community. It was better to seem humble, which is why the job went to Michelozzo. The Medici's worried that Brunelleschi's ideas would be too grand and showy. Michelozzo's design has a stark quality, reminiscent of a fortress. However, the stones smooth out as you ascend. The top floor is a more delicate structure. Michelozzo was influenced by Brunelleschi and classical antiquity.
-unrefined, rusticated stones on the ground floor make the palace seem modest and slightly uninviting
-voussoir decorations frame the windows
-bi-fora windows- a type of medieval style window which has been classicized with the use of Corinthian columns splitting the window into two arches
-large, overpowering cornice on top story
This style of domestic architecture, with its concept of horizontality and proportion, marks a transition from the older, more medieval tradition of verticality and irregularity. Compare Palazzo Davanzati (late 14th c.) with the Medici Palace, which takes up an entire block.

Palazzo Medici, courtyard

The courtyard consists of a square space with Corinthian columns supporting arches. It seems that there were problems in mastering proportion when it came to joining the corners. Additionally, there is a sense of imbalance as the courtyard is lighter and open, while the upper and ground exteriors are heavy. With the Medici coat of arms prominent, this was to be where business was done and the arts displayed.


Map Of Florence

In this "map" of Florence, painted in the 16th century by Giorgio Vasari, you can see Brunelleschi's dome on the Florence Cathedral. You really get a feel for the way Tuscany looked around the time Brunelleschi was working, he was born about 1377 and lived until 1446.