Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/11/30

“November 30, 1508” by Rick Sanders

Villa Rotonda, Veneto, Italy

Villa Rotonda, Veneto, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On this day in 1508, Andrea Palladio, the Italian architect, who designed the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore and Teatro Olimpico, is born. He later dies in 1580. The Palladian influence in architecture is now seen up to the present day. Wikipedia says:

Andrea Palladio (30 November 1508 – 19 August 1580) was an Italian architect active in the Republic of Venice. Palladio, influenced by Roman and Greek architecture, primarily by Vitruvius, is widely considered the most influential individual in the history of Western architecture. All of his buildings are located in what was the Venetian Republic, but his teachings, summarized in the architectural treatise, The Four Books of Architecture, gained him wide recognition.The city of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Interest in his style was renewed in later generations and became fashionable throughout Europe, for example in parts of the Loire Valley of France. In Britain, Inigo Jones, Elizabeth Wilbraham, and Christopher Wren embraced the Palladian style. In his Italian Journey, Johann von Goethe describes Palladio as a genius, commending his unfinished Convent of Saint Maria della Carita as the most perfect existing work of architecture. Another admirer was the architect, Richard Boyle, 4th Earl of Cork, also known as Lord Burlington, who, with William Kent, designed Chiswick House. The influence of Palladio even spread to America. Thomas Jefferson loved that style of architecture and the United States Capitol building is an example of a slightly evolved version of Palladio’s works. The One Hundred Eleventh Congress of the United States of America called him the «Father of American Architecture» (Congressional Resolution no. 259 of December 6, 2010). Exponents of Palladianism include the eighteenth century Venetian architect, Giacomo Leoni, who published an authoritative four-volume work on Palladio and his architectural concepts.


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