Portrait of Palladio from 1576
30 November 1508|
Padova, Republic of Venice
|Died||19 August 1580
Maser, near Treviso
Villa Capra "La Rotonda"
Church of San Giorgio Maggiore
|Projects||I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura (The Four Books of Architecture)|
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.
Palladio was born on November 30, 1508 in Padua and was given the name, Andrea Di Pietro della Gondola. His father, Pietro, called "della Gondola", was a miller. From early on, Andrea Palladio was introduced into the work of building. In Padua he gained his first experiences as a stonecutter in the sculpture workshop of Bartolomeo Cavazza da Sossano, who is said to have imposed particularly hard working conditions. At the age of sixteen he moved to Vicenza where he would reside for most of his life. Here he became an assistant in the Pedemuro studio, a leading workshop of stonecutters and masons. He joined a guild of stonemasons and bricklayers. He was employed as a stonemason to make monuments and decorative sculptures. These sculptures reflected the Mannerist style of the architect Michele Sanmicheli.
Perhaps the key moment that sparked Palladio's career was being employed by the Humanist poet and scholar, Gian Giorgio Trissino, from 1538 to 1539. While Trissino was reconstructing the Villa Cricoli, he took interest in Palladio's work. Trissino was heavily influenced by the studies of Vitruvius, who later influenced Palladio's own ideals and attitudes toward classical architecture. As the leading intellectual in Vicenza, Trissino stimulated the young man to appreciate the arts, sciences, and Classical literature and he granted him the opportunity to study Ancient architecture in Rome. It was also Trissino who gave him the name by which he became known, Palladio, an allusion to the Greek goddess of wisdom Pallas Athene and to a character of a play by Trissino. Indeed the word Palladio means Wise one. After Trissino's death in 1550, Palladio benefited from the patronage of the Barbaro brothers, Cardinal Daniele Barbaro, who encouraged his studies of classical architecture and brought him to Rome in 1554, and his younger brother Marcantonio Barbaro. The powerful Barbaros introduced Palladio to Venice, where he finally became "Proto della Serenissima" (chief architect of the Republic of Venice) after Jacopo Sansovino. In addition to the Barbaros, the Corner, Foscari, and Pisani[disambiguation needed] families supported Palladio's career.
Andrea Palladio began to develop his own architectural style around 1541. The Palladian style, named after him, adhered to classical Roman principles he rediscovered, applied, and explained in his works.
Andrea Palladio is known to be one of the most influential architects in Western architecture. His architectural works have "been valued for centuries as the quintessence of High Renaissance calm and harmony" (Watkin, D., A History of Western Architecture). He designed many palaces, villas, and churches, but Palladio's reputation, initially, and after his death, has been founded on his skill as a designer of villas. The palladian villas are located mainly in the province of Vicenza, while the palazzi are concentrated in the city of Vicenza and the churches in Venice. A number of his works are now protected as part of the World Heritage Site City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto. Other buildings by Palladio are to be found within the Venice and its Lagoon World Heritage Site.
Palladio's first major public project began when his designs for rebuilding the hall of the town hall known as the Basilica Palladiana were approved in 1548. He proposed an addition of two-storey stone buttresses reflecting the Gothic style of the existing hall while using classical proportions. The reconstruction was completed in 1617.
Aside from Palladio's designs, his publications contributed to Palladianism. During the second half of his life, Palladio published many books, above all, I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura (The four books of architecture, Venice, 1570). Palladio is most known for his designs of villas and palaces as well as his books.
The precise circumstances of his death are unknown. Palladio died in 1580, retold in tradition, in Maser, near Treviso, and was buried in the church of Santa Corona in Vicenza; since the nineteenth century his tomb is located in the Cimitero Maggiore of Vicenza.
Cultural context 
Palladio's architecture was not dependent on expensive materials, which must have been an advantage to his more financially pressed clients. Many of his buildings are of brick covered with stucco. Stuccoed brickwork was always used in his villa designs in order to portray his interpretations of the Roman villa typology.
In the later part of his career, Palladio was chosen by powerful members of Venetian society for numerous important commissions. His success as an architect is based not only on the beauty of his work, but also for its harmony with the culture of his time. His success and influence came from the integration of extraordinary aesthetic quality with expressive characteristics that resonated with his client's social aspirations. His buildings served to communicate, visually, their place in the social order of their culture. This powerful integration of beauty and the physical representation of social meanings is apparent in three major building types: the urban palazzo, the agricultural villa, and the church.
Relative to his trips to Rome, Palladio developed three main palace types by 1556. In 1550, the Palazzo Chiericati was completed. The proportions for the building were based on musical ratios for adjacent rooms. The building was centralized by a tripartite division of a series of columns or colonnades. In 1552, the Palazzo Iseppo Porto located in Vicenza was rebuilt incorporating the Roman Renaissance element for façades. A colonnade of Corinthian columns surrounded a main court. The Palazzo Antonini in Udine, constructed in 1556, had a centralized hall with four columns and service spaces placed relatively toward one side. He uses styles of incorporating the six columns, supported by pediments, into the walls as part of the façade. This technique had been applied in his villa designs as well. Palladio experimented with the plan of the Palazzo Iseppo Porto by incorporating it into the Palazzo Thiene. It was an earlier project from 1545 to 1550 and remained uncompleted due to elaborate elevations in his designs. He used Mannerist elements such as stucco surface reliefs and large columns, often extending two-stories high.
In his urban structures he developed a new improved version of the typical early Renaissance palazzo (exemplified by the Palazzo Strozzi). Adapting a new urban palazzo type created by Bramante in the House of Raphael, Palladio found a powerful expression of the importance of the owner and his social position. The main living quarters of the owner on the second level were clearly distinguished in importance by use of a pedimented classical portico, centered and raised above the subsidiary and utilitarian ground level (illustrated in the Palazzo Porto and the Palazzo Valmarana Braga). The tallness of the portico was achieved by incorporating the owner's sleeping quarters on the third level, within a giant two-story classical colonnade, a motif adapted from Michelangelo's Capitoline buildings in Rome. The elevated main floor level became known as the "piano nobile", and is still referred to as the "first floor" in continental Europe.
Palladio also established an influential new building format for the agricultural villas of the Venetian aristocracy. Palladio's approach to his villa designs were not relative to his experience in Rome. His designs were based on practicality and employed fewer reliefs. He consolidated the various stand-alone farm outbuildings into a single impressive structure, arranged as a highly organized whole, dominated by a strong center and symmetrical side wings, as illustrated at Villa Barbaro. The Villa Rotonda of 1552, outside Vicenza was constructed as a summer house with views from all four sides. The plan has centralized circular halls with wings and porticos expanding on all four sides. Palladio began to implement the classical temple front into his design of façades for villas. He felt that to make an entry appear grand, the Roman temple front would be the most suitable style. The Palladian villa configuration often consists of a centralized block raised on an elevated podium, accessed by grand steps, and flanked by lower service wings, as at Villa Foscari and Villa Badoer. This format, with the quarters of the owner at the elevated center of their own world, found resonance as a prototype for Italian villas and later for the country estates of the British nobility (such as Lord Burlington's Chiswick House, Vanbrugh's Blenheim, Walpole's Houghton Hall, and Adam's Kedleston Hall and Paxton House in Scotland). His villas were used by a capitalist gentry who developed an interest in agriculture and land. The configuration was a perfect architectural expression of their worldview, clearly expressing their perceived position in the social order of the times. His influence was extended worldwide into the British colonies. Palladio developed his own prototype for the plan of the villas that was flexible to moderate in scale and function. The Palladian villa format was easily adapted for a democratic worldview, as may be seen at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and his arrangement for the University of Virginia. It also may be seen applied and as recently as 1940 in Pope's National Gallery in Washington D.C., where the public entry to the world of high culture occupies the exalted center position. The rustication of exposed basement walls of Victorian residences is a late remnant of the Palladian format, clearly expressed as a podium for the main living space for the family.
Similarly, Palladio created a new configuration for the design of Catholic churches that established two interlocking architectural orders, each clearly articulated, yet delineating a hierarchy of a larger order overriding a lesser order. This idea was in direct coincidence with the rising acceptance of the theological ideas of St. Thomas Aquinas, who postulated the notion of two worlds existing simultaneously: the divine world of faith and the earthly world of humans. Palladio created an architecture which made a visual statement communicating the idea of two superimposed systems, as illustrated at San Francesco della Vigna. In a time when religious dominance in Western culture was threatened by the rising power of science and secular humanists, this architecture found great favor with the Catholic Church as a clear statement of the proper relationship of the earthly and the spiritual worlds.
Although his buildings are all in a relatively small part of Italy, Palladio's influence was far-reaching. One factor in the spread of his influence was the publication in 1570 of his architectural treatise, I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura (The Four Books of Architecture), which set out rules others could follow. The first book includes studies of decorative styles, classical orders, and materials. The second book included Palladio's town and country house designs and classical reconstructions. The third book has bridge and basilica designs, city planning designs, and classical halls. The fourth book included information on the reconstruction of ancient Roman temples. Before this landmark publication, architectural drawings by Palladio had appeared in print as illustrations to Daniele Barbaro's "Commentary" on Vitruvius.
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. Exponents of Palladianism include the eighteenth century Venetian architect, Giacomo Leoni, who published an authoritative four-volume work on Palladio and his architectural concepts.
More than 330 of Palladio's original drawings and sketches still survive in the collections of the Royal Institute of British Architects, most of which originally were owned by Inigo Jones. Jones collected a significant number of these on his Grand Tour of 1613-1614, while some were a gift from Henry Wotton.
The Center for Palladian Studies in America, Inc., a nonprofit membership organization, was founded in 1979 to research and promote understanding of Palladio’s influence in the architecture of the United States.
Chronology of the works 
Note: the chronology is generally referred to the project of the works, not to the construction.
- 1534: Villa Trissino a Cricoli, Vicenza (once traditionally attributed, but probably designed by Gian Giorgio Trissino)
- 1537-1542: Villa Godi (for Girolamo, Pietro and Marcantonio Godi), Lonedo di Lugo di Vicenza
- 1539 circa: Villa Piovene, Lonedo di Lugo di Vicenza, Province of Vicenza (attributed)
- 1542 - Villa Valmarana, Vigardolo di Monticello Conte Otto, Province of Vicenza
- 1542: Villa Gazzotti (for Taddeo Gazzotti), Bertesina, Vicenza
- 1542 circa: Villa Caldogno (for Losco Caldogno), Caldogno, Province of Vicenza (attributed)
- 1542: Villa Pisani (for Vettore, Marco and Daniele Pisani), Bagnolo di Lonigo, Province of Vicenza
- 1542: Villa Thiene (for Marcantonio and Adriano Thiene), Quinto Vicentino, Province of Vicenza (probably a re-elaboration of a project by Giulio Romano)
- 1543: Villa Saraceno (for Biagio Saraceno), Finale di Agugliaro, Province of Vicenza
- 1546 circa-1563 circa: Villa Pojana (for Bonifacio Pojana), Pojana Maggiore, Province of Vicenza
- 1546 circa: Villa Contarini, Piazzola sul Brenta, Province of Padua (attributed)
- 1547: Villa Arnaldi (for Vincenzo Arnaldi), Meledo di Sarego, Province of Vicenza (unfinished)
- 1548: Villa Angarano, Bassano del Grappa, Province of Vicenza (main body of the villa rebuilt later by Baldassarre Longhena; the barchesse are part of the original)
- 1550: Villa Chiericati (for Giovanni Chiericati), Vancimuglio di Grumolo delle Abbadesse, province of Vicenza (completed in 1584 by Domenico Groppino after Palladio's death)
- 1552: Villa Cornaro (for Giorgio Cornaro), Piombino Dese, Province of Padua
- 1552 circa: Villa Pisani (for Francesco Pisani), Montagnana, Province of Padua
- 1554-1563: Villa Badoer called La Badoera (for Francesco Badoer), Fratta Polesine, Province of Rovigo
- 1554: Villa Porto (for Paolo Porto), Vivaro di Dueville, province of Vicenza (attributed)
- 1554: Villa Barbaro (for Daniele and Marcantonio Barbaro), Maser, Province of Treviso
- 1554 ?: Villa Zeno (for Marco Zeno), Donegal di Cessalto, Province of Treviso
- 1556: Villa Thiene, Cicogna di Villafranca Padovana (unfinished; only a barchessa remaining)
- 1557: Villa Repeta, Campiglia dei Berici (destroyed by a fire, then rebuilt in other shape)
- 1558: Villa Emo (for Leonardo Emo), Fanzolo di Vedelago, Province of Treviso
- 1559: Villa Foscari called La Malcontenta, Malcontenta di Mira, Province of Venice
- 1563 circa: Villa Valmarana, Lisiera di Bolzano Vicentino, Province of Vicenza
- 1565: Villa Serego (for Marcantonio Serègo), Santa Sofia di Pedemonte di San Pietro in Cariano (Province of Verona)
- 1565 circa: Villa Forni Cerato (for Girolamo Forni), Montecchio Precalcino, Province of Vicenza
- 1566: Villa Capra "La Rotonda" (for Paolo Almerico), Vicenza (completed in 1585 by Vincenzo Scamozzi after Palladio's death)
- 1567 circa: Villa Trissino, Meledo di Sarego, Province of Vicenza (only partially realized)
- 1570: Villa Porto (for Iseppo Porto, unfinished), Molina di Malo, Province of Vicenza
One of the first works by Palladio, Villa Godi
- 1540 circa-1566 circa: Palazzo Pojana, Vicenza (attributed)
- 1540-1542 circa: Palazzo Civena, Vicenza
- 1542-1556 circa: Palazzo Thiene, Vicenza (probably on a project by Giulio Romano)
- 1544 circa-1552: Palazzo Porto (for Iseppo De' Porti), Vicenza
- 1546-1549: Loggias of the Palazzo della Ragione (then called Basilica Palladiana), Vicenza (completed in 1614 after Palladio's death)
- 1550-1557: Palazzo Chiericati (for Girolamo Chiericati), Vicenza (completed about 1680 after Palladio's death)
- 1555 circa: Palazzo Dalla Torre, Verona (only partially realized; partially destroyed by a bombing in 1945)
- 1556 circa: Palazzo Antonini, Udine (altered by later arrangements)
- 1559: Casa Cogollo (for Pietro Cogollo), traditionally known as Casa del Palladio ("Palladio's home"), Vicenza (attributed)
- 1560: Palazzo Schio (for Bernardo Schio), Vicenza
- 1564: Palazzo Pretorio, Cividale del Friuli (province of Udine) (project, attributed)
- 1565: Palazzo del Capitaniato, Vicenza
- 1565: Palazzo Valmarana (for Isabella Nogarola Valmarana), Vicenza
- 1569-1575: Palazzo Barbaran da Porto (for Montano Barbarano), Vicenza
- 1571: Palazzo Porto in Piazza Castello, Vicenza (unfinished; partially completed in 1615 by Vincenzo Scamozzi)
- 1572 ?: Palazzo Thiene Bonin Longare, Vicenza
- 1574-1577: Rooms in the Palazzo Ducale, Venice
Church architecture 
- 1531: Portal for the church of Santa Maria dei Servi, Vicenza (attributed)
- 1558: Dome for the Cathedral of Vicenza, Vicenza (destroyed in a bombing during the II World War, then rebuilt)
- 1558: Façade for the Basilica of San Pietro di Castello, Venice (completed after Palladio's death)
- 1560-1563 circa: cloister of the cipressi and refettorio of the monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
- 1560: Convento della Carità, Venezia (only the cloister and the atrium destroyed in 1630 in a fire)
- 1563 circa: Side portal for the Cathedral of Vicenza
- 1564: Façade for the church of San Francesco della Vigna, Venice
- 1565: Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice (completed between 1607 and 1611 after Palladio's death, with a different façade, by Vincenzo Scamozzi)
- 1574: Façade for Basilica di San Petronio, Bologna (project)
- 1576 circa: Cappella Valmarana (for Isabella Nogarola Valmarana) in the church of Santa Corona, Vicenza
- 1577: Church of Il Redentore, Venice
- 1578: Church of Santa Maria Nova, Vicenza (project attributed; completed in 1590 after Palladio's death)
- 1580: Church of Santa Lucia, Venice (drawings for the interior; demolished)
- 1580: Church (Tempietto Barbaro) of Villa Barbaro, Maser
- 1556: Arco Bollani, Udine, an arch over the road leading to the Udine Castle
- 1565: Wooden theater on the yard of the Convento della Carità, Venice (destroyed by fire in 1570)
- 1568: Ponte Vecchio, Bassano del Grappa, Province of Vicenza (rebuilt in 1748 and after World War II)
- 1569: Bridge on Tesina, Torri di Quartesolo, Province of Vicenza (attributed)
- 1579: Porta Gemona, San Daniele del Friuli, Province of Udine
- 1580: Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza (completed after Palladio's death by his son Silla and in 1585 by Vincenzo Scamozzi for the scene)
- "Andrea Palladio (Italian architect) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2013-03-25.
- The Center for Palladian Studies in America, Inc., His conception of classical architecture was heavily influenced by Vitruvian ideas and his mentor Trissino. "Andrea Palladio."
- The Houghton Mifflin dictionary of biography. Houghton Mifflin. 2003. p. 1167. ISBN 0-618-25210-X.
- He visited Rome alongside Trissino in 1541, 1547, and 1554 until 1556. His earlier visits to Rome influenced his designs of palaces. He modeled his designs based on his interpretation of classical architecture he had witnessed. Curl, James Stevens, "A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture", Oxford University Press
- "How I Spent A Few Days in Palladio's World" The Wall Street Journal, 3 March 2009, WSJ.com
- Venice and the Renaissance", Manfredo Tafuri, trans. Jessica Levine, 1989, MIT Press, p.127 Books.Google.com ISBN 0-262-70054-9
- Palladio knew relatively little about Greek architecture, not yet rediscovered at his times, but he studied deeply the Roman remains during five trips to Rome. His works are heavily influenced by his studies of Greco-Roman architecture.
- Howard Burns, Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio
- P. Clini "Vitruvius’ Basilica at Fano: The drawings of a lost building from 'De Architectura Libri Decem'" The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, Vol. XXXIV, Part 5/W12 pp121 - 126 2002 ISPRS.org
- Collecting Palladio's drawings, website of the Royal Institute of British Architects, accessed 24 April 2010
- Inigo Jones, website of the Royal Institute of British Architects, accessed 24 April 2010
- Source: Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio, Vicenza
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Andrea Palladio|
- Palladio and Britain Online exhibition from the Royal Institute of British Architects (English)
- Palladio and The Veneto Online exhibition from the Royal Institute of British Architects (English)
- Palladio Centre and Museum in Vicenza, Italy (English) (Italian)
- The Center for Palladian Studies in America, Inc.
- Palladio's Italian Villas website which includes material by the owners of Villa Cornaro
- Quincentenary of Andrea Palladio's birth - Celebration Committee Describes a major exhibition touring venues in Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States
- Official Website of the 500 Years Exhibition in Vicenza - Italy (2008) (English) (Italian)
- "Andrea Palladio". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Andrea Palladio: His Life and Legacy, at the Royal Academy, review, The Telegraph, 2 February 2009
- David Linley on the influence of Andrea Palladio
- How I Spent A Few Days in Palladio's World, The Wall Street Journal, 3 March 2009
- All He Surveyed, Paul Goldberger, The New Yorker, 30 March 2009
- Principles of Palladio's Architecture: II, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 1945
- Nature and Antiquity in the Work of Andrea Palladio, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, September 2000
- Digital images of 1721 and 1742 edition of The architecture of A. Palladio