Vincenzo Scamozzi

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Portrait of Vincenzo Scamozzi by Paolo Veronese

Vincenzo Scamozzi (2 September 1548 – 7 August 1616) was a Venetian architect and a writer on architecture, active mainly in Vicenza and Republic of Venice area in the second half of the 16th century. He was perhaps the most important figure there between Andrea Palladio, whose unfinished projects he inherited at Palladio's death in 1580, and Baldassarre Longhena, Scamozzi's only pupil.

The great public project of Palladio's that Scamozzi inherited early in the process of construction was the Teatro Olimpico at Vicenza, which Palladio had designed in the last months of his life.


Scamozzi was born in Vicenza. His father was the surveyor and building contractor Gian Domenico Scamozzi; he was Scamozzi's first teacher, imbuing him with the principles of Sebastiano Serlio, laid out in Serlio's book. Vincenzo visited Rome in 1579-1580, and then moved to Venice in 1581, where he had been invited to design the Procuratie Nuove on the Piazza San Marco itself. In 1600 he visited France and left a sketchbook record of his impressions of French architecture, which first saw the light of day in 1959.[1]

The Procuratie Nuove were a row of official housing for the Procuratorate of San Marco, presented as a unified palace front that continues the end facade of the Sansovino Library, with its arcaded ground floor and arch-headed windows of the first floor, but adding an upper floor to provide the necessary accommodation, for which Scamozzi adapted a rejected project of Palladio's for a re-faced Doge's Palace, with colonnettes that flank the windows to support alternating triangular and arched pediments, upon which Scamozzi added reclining figures, to balance the richness of the Sansovinian decoration of the two lower floors. Eleven bays of this project were completed, and later were extended by Baldassare Longhena to fill the whole south flank of the piazza.

Popular 2-volume book on Architecture[edit]

L'idea della Architettura universale Di Vincenzo Scamozzi Architetti Veneto, 1615

Scamozzi's influence spread far beyond his Italian commissions through his treatise, L’Idea dell’Architettura Universale ("The Idea of Universal Architecture"), which is the last of the Renaissance works on the theory of architecture. It was published with woodcut illustrations at Venice in 1615. Scamozzi depended for sections of his treatment of Vitruvius on Daniele Barbaro's commentary, published in 1556 with illustrations by Palladio;[2] he also discussed issues of building practice. Such treatises were becoming a vehicle for self-promotion. Scamozzi knew the value of publicity distributed through the established channels of the book trade and he included many of his own plans and elevations, as built, as they should have been built, and as idealized projects.

Previously, his first book had been a quickly cobbled together illustrated commentary on the ruins of Rome, assembled in "the space of a few of days," according to his preface, and the woodcut images were stock productions that already existed. Over half were copied from a volume by Hieronymus Cock that appeared in the 1550s.

His major book came out too late to influence his own success; he died the following year. Scamozzi's practice is as much the source of the neo-Palladian architecture that was introduced by Inigo Jones as Andrea Palladio's own example. Rudolf Wittkower called him "the intellectual father of neo-classicism".[3] Bibliography and books on line,

Chronology of works[edit]

All but one of the following works are in the territory of the Republic of Venice:


  1. ^ Franco Barbieri, ed. Taccuino di Viaggio da Parigi a Venezia (14 marzo-11 maggio 1600) (Venice/Rome:Istituto per la Collaborazione Culturale), 1959.
  2. ^ Inigo Jones' library included Palladio, Scamozzi and Barbaro on Vitruvius.
  3. ^ Wittkower, reviewing Franco Barbieri, Vincenzo Scamozzi (Verona/Vicenza:Cassa di Risparmio) in The Burlington Magazine 95 No. 602 (May 1953), p. 171.