Talk:Renaissance architecture

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Giano, I found a cheesy illustration of a Hungarian building. Below are some other images representing regional facets of the movement. One image I particularly like to see in the article is the grand staircase of the Laurentian Library: the central mass appears to be flowing down toward the viewer like lava. --Ghirla -трёп- 12:01, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

A few points[edit]

I'd like to see a few things developed further in this article or to develop them myself:

  • More discussion of humanism and the ideals of Renaissance architecture
  • Mention of relevant and concurrant topics in related arts, such as perspective in graphics
  • Reference to and importance of Classical orders
  • Elaboration on the legacy section to discuss each following movement (maybe in chronological order)

Well done to everyone so far though. DVD+ R/W 21:19, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Please do help yourself, I was just tidying it up, and clarifying a few points, so those who are working on Neo-Renaissance can have something a little more substantial to refer back to without bogging down that page in the history of the subject which should be here Giano 21:30, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll try in a bit. I have a few things already in progress and I just realized self portrait is a redirect to portrait with only two lines about self portraiture! DVD+ R/W 22:14, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Removal of Pic of Temple of Artemis[edit]

I took the liberty of deleting the pic. It might fit appropriately at some other point but not there. These are my reasons.

  • The Introduction says that there was a deliberate revival of Classical forms, etc, and that the evidence for these was visible, because ancient buildings still existed (Numerous of them in Rome in particular. Brunelleschi took himself to Rome in about 1401 and spent time among the ruins)
  • Despite what was written beneath the pic, the impression given was that this was a drawing of a "real" building. It bears such close resemblance to Alberti's facade at S. M. Novella that one would be excused for assuming that it (and others like it) had provided the source for Alberti's design. In other words, one might assume that this was one of the buildings that gave clear evidence of Classical forms.
  • In fact, the dates given on the pic are hhighly misleading because, although indeed the temple did exist at that those dates, its continued existence was only in the most ruined form. Its fame lay entirely upon the fact that the Romans called it one of the 7 wonders of the World.
  • The picture was done by a Dutch artist, Martin van Heemskerck and can't be earlier than about 1518, fifty years after Alberti built the facade with which it has been juxtaposed. In fact, it would seem that Martin van Heemmskerck had seen Alberti's facade, remembered its general proportion, the blind arcading and other details, including the large scrolls that bridge the central nave to the aisles. These were Alberti's invention. Heemskerck has used them on his drawing.
  • If the picture is put back, then it needs to have-
    • the date at which it was done.
    • the name of the artist.
    • the fact that it is a purely speculative drawing.
    • the fact that it is probably based on Alberti's facade and not the other way around.

I personally think that the picture adds nothing to this article. it would certainly add something to an article that was devoted to the philosophical or humanist views of Renaissance artists to the past. Because that is what the picture is about. It isn't about a real building. I think that its presence here adds confusion and does nothing to add clarity.

--Amandajm 12:01, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I'd agree with that, in this case. Renaissance view of Antiquity is an essential article, which needs a concise version inserted here. --Wetman 18:27, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Where to?[edit]

I think that the whole thing is getting a bit long and that there needs to be a series of Main Articles :- Renaissance Architecture in England, Renaissance Architecture in France and so on, showing in detail how what grew out of Italy was variously received and adapted.

Does anyone object if I start new pages and transfer the info that has already been written, so that the experts in these particular fields can then go to work expanding them?

Any ideas as to how they should be formulated? eg: Do we lump countries together? Britain rather than England, Spain and Portugal together, Scandinavia. If this was done, then at some later date they could be further separated.

Apart from Hungary, does anyone have detailed knowledge of Eastern European architecture? My library is scant on the early development of Renaissance architecture. I have some info (not a great deal) on Baroque churches in Eastern Europe, which belongs on another page somewhere.

--Amandajm 12:01, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Any subsection can be cut and pasted and expanded under a new title, leaving the heading For main article, see... at the relevant section here. The reason we don't cannibalize articles to produce a myriad of localized ones is that, as context is progressively stripped away, information is lost.
After completing a first editing of the new sub-article, the best practice is to return here and see whether essential information in the new article is reprresented in concise form here at the trunk article. --Wetman 18:25, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
...and, during the Renaissance, Scotland and England were separate nations, Scotland being in the cultural orbit of France, not of England; Portugal was not united with Spain until 1580 and had an independent introduction to the Renaissance, unless one were writing Renaissance architecture in Iberia for some particular reason. Renaissance architecture in Eastern Europe would make a sensible title for now, rather than dividing them up according to 19-20th century borders. --Wetman 18:36, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Yeah. Thanks for your advice. I wasn't thinking of lumping England and Scotland together as a political or artistic unity, merely as a regional one. But I think the clear seperation is the way to go. I undertand the problem of losing context. As well as maintaining the vital info in the original article, context has to be given to each of the new articles. --Amandajm 23:27, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

If the article is called Renaissance architecture it must give an overview of the style covering the relevant architects and buildings of the regions where it was developed. Unless it is renamed Renaissance architecture in Italy, it is not acceptable to remove the brief schemes about Renaissance in other countries and to dedicate more text to a single Italian architect or building that to the whole architectural production in countries that brought wide achievements to the style, like Spain. If the new article seems to be too long, it could be abridged, for example, in the references to Baroque architecture, that is not properly Renaissance but a new style. --Garcilaso 11:42, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

The nature of the article

This article attempts to give an overview of the style, relevant architects and buildings where Renaissance architecture developed.

The first fully Renaissance buildings, the buildings that were designed and constructed specifically to define the style were Brunelleschi's. Brunelleschi did for architecture what Bach did for music. San Lorenzo's is Brunelleschi's "Well Tempered Clavier". The role of Brunellischi, Michelangelo and Palladio cannot bbe overestimated. Neither can the importance of the facades of Alberti's St Andrea and della Porta's il Gesu. They created the style that was to be imitated in France, Spain, Germany, England, Hungary, Sweden, Portugal and so on.

If you want to understand Renaissance architecture in the other countries, then you need to come back to Italy as a reference point.

  • This article is getting very long, and there is a couple of major things that need doing yet.
  • All the other countries need their own page about renaissance architecture so that it can be dealt with in more detail. No information that was here has been dumped. It's all been carefully transferred in order that it can be written up more fully.
  • In some cases, what had been written about the Renaissance in countries other than Italy was fairly haphazard and needs properly researching and sytematic writing.

With regards to the paragraph on Baroque, please read the paragraph. In fact, first read the bit near the top that says that Renaissance architecture can be divided into four phases, as per Sir Banister Fletcher President of the Royal Institute of British Architects. I am quoting the book that has been regarded as the Bible of Architectural History for 109 years. Baroque grew (fairly gradually in Italy) out of Mannerism, which developed from High Renaissance and uses all the same elements. Baroque uses the same elements.

  • What I have tried to make clear in the paragraph entitled "Baroque" is that in some countries, "classical" Renaissance architecture as it occured in Italy was not widely prevalent before Baroque arrived on the scene.
  • The paragraph is not actually about Baroque. It doesn't describe Baroque style, buildings or architects.
  • It describes a process of change from Proto-Renaissance to Renaissance to Baroque and says that it happened differently in different places, using England as the main example to demonstrate the meaning.
  • There is no need for any further description of Baroque Architecture. It is an enormously diverse subject. Unlike the classical early Renaissance style of Brunelleschi, it was very widespread, lasted for about 200 years, involving thousands of buildings. It has its own page.

--Amandajm 14:05, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Renaissance England[edit]

with valuable contributions by Wetman.

This is sitting here until I find the right place for it because it is too long for the present paragraph.

Wetman, please see my explanation of the paragrph directly above.


In Italy, the Baroque style appears to flow seamlessly out of the Mannerist. Pevsner comments about the vestibule of the Laurentian Library that it "has often been said that the motifs of the walls show Michelangelo as the father of the Baroque".

While continuity may be the case in Italy, it was not necessarily the case elsewhere. The adoption of the Renaissance style of architecture was slower in some areas than in others, as may be seen in England, for example. Indeed, as Pope Julius II was having the ancient Basilica of St. Peter’s demolished to make way for the new, Henry VII of England was adding a glorious new chapel in the Perpendicular Gothic style to Westminster Abbey.

Likewise, the style that was to become known as Baroque evolved in Italy in the early 1600s, at about time that the first fully Renaissance buildings were constructed at Greenwich and Whitehall in England, after a prolonged period of experimentation with Classical motifs applied to local architectural forms, or conversely, the adoption of Renaissance structural forms in the broadest sense with an absence of the formulae that governed their use. While the English were just discovering what the rules of Classicicism were, in the treatises of Serlio and Palladio, the Italians were experimenting with methods of breaking them. In England the Italianate style of Inigo Jones's Banquetting Hall remained confined to a small circle of Caroline courtiers; elsewhere English architecture in general followed a vernacular development from Antwerp Mannerism. After the building campaigns at Wilton House, completed following a fire of 1647, ambitious English architectural projects were aborted by the English Civil War. Following the Restoration of 1660, the architectural climate had changed, and taste moved in the direction of the Baroque, even in projects designed by Jones' pupil John Webb and Hugh May. Rather than evolving, as it did in Italy, it arrived, fully fledged.

In a similar way, in many parts of Europe that had few purely classical and ordered buildings like Brunelleschi’s Santo Spirito and Michelozzo’s Medici Riccardi Palace, Baroque architecture appeared almost unheralded, on the heels of a sort of Proto-Renaissance local style. The spread of the Baroque and its replacement of traditional and more conservative Renaissance architecture was particularly apparent in the building of churches as part of the Counter Reformation.[1]

Main article: Baroque architecture


--Amandajm 06:30, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Manuelino and Isabelline Gothic[edit]

The Manueline decorations are related to the Isabelline Gothic much more than to the Plateresque, as shown in the following links: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] --Garcilaso 21:06, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for sorting that out. --Amandajm 11:33, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

a bit old-fashioned[edit]

The main reference for this article seems to be Bannister Fletcher and his 100 year old book. The tone too is all about style, and very conventional and "art historical" in that respect. Three are so many points to argue. Did the Renaissance style "arrive" in England. I hardly think that is a subtle way of putting it.Brosi 14:30, 19 December 2006 (UTC)


Brosi, to answer you second commment first-

The arrival of Baroque across Europe was not subtle. It was more like an explosion. After a period of what one might call, proto-Rennaissance, ie. Renaissance details grafted onto Medieval structures, Baroque "arrived" very suddenly in a number of countries. It was carried to various places by the Jesuits who often surplanted other religious orders as a deliberate strategy of the Counter Reformation. So one could say that it "appeared" more-or-less simultaneously all over Europe in a fully-formed style.

The Jesuits were not the bearers of Baroque to England. Because it is such a long way from Italy, its development was dependant largely upon the travels and scholarship of architects. They either saw and adopted the new styles, or they didn't. What one sees is a sudden adoption, with several different intepretations, rather than a gradual development.

On the subject of style, conventionality and art historical tone.

Yes, dividing a long encyclopedic article up into neat subheadings that follow through and use the best definitions available is perhaps a rather old-fashioned manner of organising an article. The question is, do you want an article that students can use' and find their way around, or don't you?

Yes, I have drawn heavily on Banister Fletcher. Because of the extreme usefullness of this particular work on architecture, the book has been continually revised and updated over the last 100 years. It is reprinted over and over again. The thing that has been maintained is the method of comparison because it is an exceptionally useful teaching tool. It is a book of extraordinary scope, with 1100 photographs, 1500 diagrams and 40 maps. The diagrams, mostly drawn by the author, are so highly valued that they have been, until recently, available in large format to teachers.

Have you looked at the list of books in the Bibliography? I consulted 17 of the books listed (not the 3 that deal with Hungary and Poland). That list contains several highly regarded 20th century Architectural histories, and a number of books dealing with specific architects- Alberti, Brunelleschi, Palladio, Michelangelo, as well as other books for details of specific regions and buildings.

If you want an architectural history that deals with things in a subtle and flowing manner, go to the library and chose one. This article needs to amass a huge amount of info into the most compact form. This is what I have set out to do.

Brosi, if you have a little trot around different art historical articles, you will discover that the content of a very large number of them, particularly those pertaining to Italian art, has been lifted directly from Britannica 1911 and are biased, flamboyant POV stuff written by an English critic with very marked tastes and prejudices. Lots of work needs to be done, tracking them down and rewriting them. With a modern approach, may be just the person to do it. --Amandajm 01:51, 20 December 2006 (UTC)


I think it would be helpful if the images of buildings carried a date of construction so that one could easily follow the development of Renaissance architecture. Giano 07:26, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

re dates

I agree. But someone has just deleted every date and every ISBN from the article,, while at the same time adding some pertinent information.

So what do I do? Revert the page to get back the ISBN, rather than spend GKHL putting themin individually, thereby losing valuable contributions, which are masked by a little m for minor, and are in fact additional sentences, corrections etc? --Amandajm 07:41, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Personally I like dates, especially in architecture if one is studying the development of the subject, they help to put progress in context. I saw the edits to which you refer [6] and generally they were informative. However, the first and second paragraphs of the lead now say the same thing. I don't disagree with the statement "In none of the arts more than architecture was the Renaissance more apparent" - but can't help wondering of some would. Perhaps it needs to be reffed. I'm unsure why the ISBNs were removed - they are essential for clarity of edition when checking refs. Perhaps it would be a good idea if all major changes of style were briefly discussed on the talk page before being implemented. Incidentally I am of the school of though that believes Baroque is not universally Renaissance architecture. Giano 10:28, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

is this sentence needed?[edit]

I removed this sentence but it is now back "In none of the arts more than architecture was the Renaissance more apparent" I am sure my art historian, music historian friends would dispute this. In fact the Renaissance was FIRST apparent in literature, (Petrarch etc..) probably, long before it became apparent in architecture. The Renaissance came very late to Rome.Brosi 13:14, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

RE:- that sentence. Problem was, you only half removed the sentence. I had to chose between deleting the remnant and putting it all back. Well, there, there, dear! the nasty thing has gone now! --Amandajm 15:13, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

More in the line of odd sentences[edit]

I think this sentence does not work well "Bramante, Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and others showed a mastery of the revived style and .." I wonder what "mastery" means. The focus of the article is much too much on the revivial of classicism instead of the more intrinsic aspects of the architect's contribution. Bramante was hardly a slave to classical orders, which were at the time, only still rather dimly understood. He was indeed "a master" designer, meaning masterful, but so to was Brunelleschi in his own way. And as to Antonio d.S. his use of the orders was sort of odd and I would think does not show 'mastery.' Which is why I think his work is interetsing.Brosi 13:22, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Attention Giano, Brosi[edit]

Re:- "Bramante, Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and others showed a mastery of the revived style and .."

How do you suggest rewording it?

Re:- "In none of the arts more than Architecture was this “rebirth” more apparent." That sentence has been in the article for yonks. Do we just cut it completely or what? The problem is, I'm loathe to completely dismiss someone else's nicely constructed sentence! It goes, OK?

Re:- dates of pictures- OK.... back to my good friend Banister Fletcher and his invaluable dates.

If you don't know this book, Brosi, you must get one! A recent edition, or you'll find that Baroque is almost skipped over and Australia doesn't exist at all.

Re:- Baroque. Yeah....No....Yeah... does it need to be dealt with here? How long do we make this? My computer lumbers along because its full of photos. A large article takes ages to load already. can we leave it how it is annd just do the refinements.

Re:- Well-written stuff about England that I have dumped on this page because it swamped the sense of the paragraph. can you use it in one of the articles about English architecture, Giano?

Re:- Dates. I'm gunna do'em tomorra. Its wee small hours in the land of Oz.

--Amandajm 14:42, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

"Bramante, Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and others showed a mastery of the revived style and .." presumably means they displayed a talent for interpreting classical designs whilst giving them a contemporary flare which satiated the popular demand for classically inspired architecture.
I've no idea what can be dumped, there is no page for English Renaissance (pertaining to the architecture) the nearest I suppose is possibly Jacobean architecture - you could merge it there I suppose.
In my view it was a mistake to introduce Baroque to the page at all. I don't regard Baroque as a form of Renaissance architecture, in my view the Renaissance period was over by the time the true Baroque era flowered.
"In none of the arts more than Architecture was this “rebirth” more apparent" - if in doubt chop it out. I expect it means the Renaissance architecture was visible on the street, great buildings were more apparent and less subtle than paintings and art in palazzi and churches. However it is an ambiguous, unreffed sentence so it can go. Giano 15:44, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Renaissance /Baroque[edit]

Hmm! Back in the early days of this article, someone, dunno who, had inserted a list:- Early Renaissance, High Renaissance, Mannerist, Baroque. I'm not sure who wrote that. But i returned to it. Presumably some likeminded person.

I've tried to make the distinction that what happened elswhhere was not necessariky what happened in Italy.

Do you think that the Italian Renaissance part needs to be summarised, as I proposed earlier? The Italian Renaissance flowed into Baroque. I've put up that pic of Santa Susanna, for example, for want of a better pic of a facade.. There is also St Agostino, which is rather odd. It has a solution to the lower pediment which prefigures Palladio. (I love St Agostino's- it's one of my favourite places on the planet.) I think that the flow into Baroque needs to be discussed in the Italian, but probab;ly not elswhere. Where do you draw the line?

Yeah, howabout I summarise Italy and put it elswhere.

Something I would like to do sometime is put up ann illustrated list of Church Facades in the Roman style showing the stylistic developmment. There's one street that has two Barooque churches almost side by side. One bows and the other bulges. It resembles nothing more than a geological diagram of a folded mountain, under compression from the adjacent buildings. Can't remember what it's called and the relevant book is in someones backpack.

And another similar list of Medieval West Fronts in the Norh of France.

--Amandajm 01:14, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

  • The page originally said: "Later still it (Renaissance architecture) evolved into Mannerism with widely diverging tendencies in the work of Michelangelo and Giulio Romano and Andrea Palladio, that led to the Baroque style in which the same architectural vocabulary was used for very different rhetoric" This does not mean Baroque was a form of Renaissance architecture in the same determinate category as Early and High Renaissance. Giano 11:27, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with the point you are mmaking, which is why there's a direct to the Baroque main page.

I'm merely saying that, at some point bbetween now and the earliest stage of the article, there had already been a statement dividing Renaissance Architecture into four phases. I re-introduced it.

So we divide the Renaissance into three phases, put that sentence back...Do you think that the sentence is clear enough for your average reader? It reads well, but I can't help thinking that in an article as essential as this, we need to use basic language rather than metaphor. Although the word "vocabulary" is often applied to architecture, the following "rhetoric" carries the metaphor further in a way that's not helpful to your average high school art student, who looks to wikipedia for help in assignments. I want to drop the rhetoric in favour of a simpler description. Or include a simple sentence and bback it up with the rhetoric.

I'll think about it. Right now...this minute.. it requires too much grey matter. What I need is a drop of Christmas spirit and a game of minesweeper! --Amandajm 10:37, 22 December 2006 (UTC)


this is good. but idk. bout anything. lolz —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 01:27, 28 January 2007 (UTC).


This statement needs to be explained "In the Quattrocento, concepts of architectural order were explored and rules were formulated. The study of classical antiquity led in particular to the adoption of Classical detail and ornamentation" Without a definition and explanation of the rules the statement is meaningless. Giano 21:48, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Foolishly put up too many FACs simutaneously! Too much work to do!Amandajm 07:09, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Conflicting Information[edit]

"It seems certain, however, that while stylistically Gothic, in keeping with the building it surmounts, the dome is in fact structurally influenced by the great dome of Ancient Rome, which Brunelleschi could hardly have ignored in seeking a solution. This is the dome of the Pantheon, a circular temple, now a church.

"Inside the Pantheon's single-shell dome of brick and stone is coffering which greatly decreases the weight, while maintaining the strength of each individual stone."


"The building is circular with a portico of three ranks of huge granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment opening into the rotunda, under a coffered, concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) open to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.",_Rome

Either the dome is unreinforced concrete, or it is brick and stone. Which is correct?

Thank you for pointing this error out. It should read either "concrete, brick and stone" or just "concrete". The concrete structure has brick, tufa and pumice set in it, with different composition it different heights. The lower levels of the dome, which are encased in the third tier of the wall, have tufa and bricks in the concrete. The levels which rise above the wall have tufa and pumice in the concrete. Amandajm (talk) 13:45, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

The spread of Renaissance architecture[edit]

The section on Renaissance architecture in countries other than Italy is not in alphabetical order, but that does not mean that it hasn't been put in order.

  • NOTE: The dissemination of the Renaissance style throughout Europe did not take place in alphabetical order.

Would people please read, note the dates, think about the information contained and stop changing this.

Amandajm (talk) 03:22, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

Return of the pope[edit]

The date of the year that the pope arrived back in Rome and re-established the papal court is all that is necessary. The date at which he departed from Avignon has no bearing whatsoever on Renaissance architecture, which is the subject of this article. If a reader wants to know the details of those events in papal history, then they need to follow the links. Amandajm (talk) 08:20, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Let me repeat: the precise date, to the day, that the Pope returned is irrelevant and a distraction. This event took place about thirty years before the first Renaissance architecture was built.
Secondly, saying that on a particular day a particular pope returned to Rome without mentioning the Avignon Papacy tells your reader nothing. He might have been visiting his mother in Montepulciano, or taking the sun on the Riviera.
In other words, your first change left the article with an apparently meaningless and unrelated bit of trivia. Unless the reader understood already why the pope was not in Rome.
Leave the precise date out of it. It is background to thirty years of re-establishment, before the era of this article begins.
Amandajm (talk) 23:02, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ Pevsner