Renaisance Architecture

Matthew Bells, 2001

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Atruscan graves. This is almost all that remains from the pre Roman society. Many of the buildings were destroyed to pillage materials for later buildings. This practice was most common in the dark ages when there wasn't sufficient economic power to mine new resources. Frescos were among the great art of the Atruscans.

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Roman Colleseum (70..82). One of the buldings renaisance architects looked to for inspiration. The Visigoths from northern Europe and the Vandals form Africa were responsible for most of the destruction.

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Church in Roman Forum (-100..300). Many of the best preserved bulidings are ones that were converted. This was a roman temple, and was converted into a church in the renaisance.

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Pantheon (118..126). Brunelleschi studied this and other buildings in detail. This is one of the few standing domes from ancient times and has walls over 3m thick. Renaisance architects improved on this by using less materials.

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Pantheon interior. The ground plans and cornices were studied in detail and classified. Brunelleschi was the one to come up with the classification of doric, ionic, and corinthian.

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Piazza del Popolo in Roma. Egyptian obselisk. The Romans imported much culture from around their empire. Likewise, renaisance architects studies these ancient styles in detail since the workmanship had been lost in the gothic buildings.

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Bagnoregio. A medival town. Most such towns are walled and preferably on hills so that neighbouring towns would have a hard time attacking.

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Bagnoregio street.

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Bagnoregio church.

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Bangoregio square.

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Assisi street. Filippo Brunelleschi revived ancient styles of architecture. He was a workaholic.

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Orvieto roman and gothic architecture. Brunelleschi's father, disappointed that he would not become a notary, entered him into a goldsmiths' guild, but he soon excelled beyond the bounds of this profession and entered watchmaking. He also though much about mechanics.

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Orvieto Cathedral (Arnolfo di Cambio, 1290..1500). Gothic with a romanesque façade. Brunelleschi used this as inspriration.

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Orivieto Cathedral inside. Gothic arcitecture was quite dark and undecorated inside. Many later had frescos painted on them, but many of these were whitewashed during and after the plague begining in 1348 and lasting 200 years. The cornices of the columns on one side are tormented, while the other side is peaceful. [greatbuildings.com]

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Siena cathedral. Note the refinement of the patterns on the walls.

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[Extra]Piazza del Campo, Siena.

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Santa Maria del Fiore, Firenze (Arnolfo di Cambio e Filippo Brunelleschi, 1296..1462). Brunelleschi was the only architect to propose a scheme without ellaborate scafholding or supports. He was laughed at for this. [photo: greatbuildings.com]

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Santa Maria del Fiore, Firenze. Ghiberti, reputed for his work on the bapistry doors, was able to use his influence to ensure Brunelleschi received the task of the duomo. They undertook the contract together.

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Santa Maria del Fiore e bapistry. After some time, Brunelleschi became suddenly ill. As work ground to a halt, he instructed “Ask Lorenzo (Ghiberti), let him do something for once”. When Lorenzo refused, Brunelleschi replied “But I could very well do without him.” upon which it was discovered that his illness was due to a parasite.

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Duomo section. Afer this, they divided the work in two, and Brunelleschi's half went well while the other failed and had to be redone by Brunelleschi. [photo: greatbuildings.com]

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Signoria, Firenze.

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Tower support, San Giminano.

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Tower, San Giminano.

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San Lorenzo (Brunelleschi). While working on the cupola, Brunelleschi oversaw the work on many other buildings. Paid for by Medici. [photo: greatbuildings.com]

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San Spirito (Brunelleschi). Camillo Sitte 1896 wrote “we absolutely insist that the straight line and geometrical patterns should not be made the aims of our planning.” (Wolfe, 1963, p. 43) [photo: greatbuildings.com]

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Coat of arms: dè Medici. The balls most likely represent pawn brokers or Byzantine coins.

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Piazza di Spagna (Alessandro Specchi, 1721..1725). Medici have a hotel beside the church at the top of these steps.

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Courtyard made for a wedding.

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Cafaggiolo Villa, Medici house.

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Monastary. This was a retreat used by the Medici.

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Chapel in monastary.

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Sculpture of crucifix, probably Donatello. Brunelleschi became friends with Donatello during their youth. Studying perspective, he tought this to Masaccio. Upon insulting Donatello's wooden crucifix, he was challenged to do better. One day, he unveiled this by inviting Donatello to dinner. When he saw it, he replied in awe “I, for my part, have had all the dinner I want today.” (Vasari, 1946, p. 71)

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Michelangelo's David. The copy outside Signoria.

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Michelangelo's David in Academia. The large hands symbolize power, the large feet symbolize stability, and the large head symbolizes intelligence.

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View of Carrera. The mountains are not covered with snow, but with gravel surplus from marble mining.

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Bridge for transporting marble. In Roman times, oxen were used to transport blocks of marble from the quarry. Later, trains were used, and now trucks.

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Carrera marble quarry.

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Cosimo as Persius.

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Another Persius, in Vatican.

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Modern marbel sculpture.

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Santa Croce church, Firenze (1295..1443, façade 1857..1863).

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[Extra] Grave: Michaeli Angelo Bonarotio.

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[Extra] Grave: Galilaeus Galileius Patric Flor.

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[Extra] Epitaph: Dante Aligherio.

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[Extra] Grave: Nicolaus Machiavelli.

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Assisi street. Note the difference between medival and humanist styles: the humanist buildings are covered in a plaster, painted, and contain more details. Medival buildings look rougher as they are finished in rough stone.

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Piazza di Gaiole, a humanist square.

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Humanist square. “Townscape can thus be treated as the art of humanizing high densities after the engineers have made them hygenically possible.” (Wolfe, 1963, p. 12)

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Assisi street.

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Piazza, Roma.

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Door across from cathedral in Orvieto.

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Humanist architecture dominating over medival.

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Assisi, St. Francis.

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Roma, was where popes could hide, where the treasure was kept.

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Courtyard in Vatican.

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Hallway in Vatican. Note the tilework.

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Stairway in Vatican.

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Entrance to St. Peters. Baroque.

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Sculpture in St. Peters.

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[Extra] Barberini, Roma.

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[Extra] Barberini, Roma. Inside.

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[Extra] Barberini Capuchin monastary. [photo: maddogsbreakfast.com]

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[Extra] Barberini Capuchin monastary. [photo: maddogsbreakfast.com]

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[Extra] Stage in Castello di Meleto. Also currently the site of Montalcino vinyard.

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Chianti.

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Market in Orvietto.

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Piazza in Assisi.

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Roma suburbs.

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Roma suburbs.

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Roma park.

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Isreali ambasy, Roma.

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Another modern building.

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School in Roma.

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Roma at night. “... cinquecento buliders held a view of town-planning... as the art of getting symmetry into the pictureesque muddle.” (Wolfe, 1963, p. 78)

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Sunset over St. Peters (Giacomo della Porta with help of Michelangelo).

Bibliography

italian.about.com
greatbuildings.com
Hyman, Isabelle. Brunelleschi in perspective. USA 1974.
mega.it
Mondadori, Giorgio (ed). Chianti Senese. Italia 1998.
Vasari, ed. Betty Burroughs. Live of the Artists. USA 1946. p. i-xxi, 7-10, 69-85, 212-218.
Wolfe. The Italian Townscape. England 1963.