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Old July 31st, 2009, 04:48 PM   #1
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VICENZA(ITALY),CITY OF PALLADIO, UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE

VICENZA(ITALY),CITY OF PALLADIO,UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE



[IMG]http://i29.************/2qwonxx.jpg[/IMG]


Rispondendo alla giusta osservazione di Gioven sposto qui alcune foto dal thread di Vicenza, per dedicare questo esclusivamente alle architetture di grande qualità che costellano il centro storico della mia città,con spiccata attenzione per Palladio e quegli architetti che nel seguirne gli insegnamenti hanno dato vita ad un patrimonio tutelato dall' UNESCO.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 04:49 PM   #2
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(100° post, da festeggiare con il palazzo più bello)

Palazzo Chiericati



In November 1550, Girolamo Chiericati recorded a payment to Palladio in his own “account book” for the designs of his palace in the city, sketched out at the beginning of the year. In the same month, Girolamo was appointed to supervise the administration of the building works on the Loggias of the Basilica, inaugurated in May 1549. This coincidence was not remotely casual: along with Trissino, Chiericati was among those who sponsored entrusting this prestigious public commission to the young architect, for whose interests he had personally fought in the Council, and to whom he would turn for the design of his own home. Moreover, a few years later his brother Giovanni would also commission from Palladio the villa at Vancimuglio.
In 1546 Girolamo had inherited a few old houses looking onto the so-called “Piazza dell’Isola”, an open space on the southern outskirts of the city, which owed its name to the fact that it was bordered on two sides by the Retrone and the Bacchiglione, whose courses flowed into each other. As the city’s river port, the “Isola” was the seat of the timber and cattle markets. The tiny size of the old existing houses induced Girolamo to ask the City Council for permission to utilise a strip of roughly four and a half metres of public land in front of his properties in order to realise the portico of his house on the site, but guaranteeing its public use. Once the request was accepted building work begun immediately in 1551, only to halt in 1557 on the death of Girolamo, whose son Valerio limited himself to decorating the internal spaces, employing an extraordinary équipe of artists which included Ridolfi, Zelotti, Fasolo, Forbicini and Battista Franco.
For more than a century Palazzo Chiericati remained a majestic fragment (similar to the present state of the Palazzo Porto in the Piazza Castello) interrupted half way along its fourth bay, as documented in the Pianta Angelica and voyagers’ sketchbooks. Only at the end of the Seicento would it be completed according to the design in the Quattro Libri.
Several autograph drawings by Palladio survive to record the evolution of the project, from the first solution where the portico projects only at the centre of the façade (as well as being capped by a pediment, like that later executed on the Villa Cornaro) to the actual one. The plan was determined by the site’s narrow dimensions: a central bi-apsidal atrium is flanked by two nuclei of three rooms of harmonically linked dimensions (3:2; 1:1; 3:5), each with its own spiral service stair and a further, monumental one to one side of the back loggia (another element which will return in the Villa Pisani and Villa Cornaro).
To endow the building with magnificence, but also to protect it from the frequent floods (and from the cattle sold in front of the palace on market days), Palladio raised the palace on a podium, whose central section displays a stairway clearly adapted from an antique temple.
The extraordinary novelty which the Palazzo Chiericati offers in the panorama of renaissance urban residences owes a great deal to Palladio’s capacity to interpret the site on which it rises: a great open space on the margins of the city, in front of the river, a context which rendered it an ambiguous building, simultaneously palazzo and villa suburbana. It is no coincidence that many affinities exist with the Villa Cornaro at Piombino and the Villa Pisani at Montagnana, which were moreover constructed during the same years. On the Piazza dell’Isola, Palladio set a façade with a two-storey loggia capable of visually holding the open space, and which also established one side of a hypothetical, ancient, Roman Forum.
Even though superimposed loggias are present in Peruzzi’s Palazzo Massimo in Rome and in the Antique Courtyard of the Bo by Moroni in Padua, the use to which Palladio puts them on the façade of the Palazzo Chiericati is absolutely unheralded in terms of its power and expressive awareness. The Basilica and Palazzo Chiericati represent Palladio’s definitive passage from the eclecticism of his early years to the full maturity of a language where the stimuli and sources of both the Antique and contemporary architecture are absorbed into a system by now specifically Palladian. This is the first occasion on which the loggia flank is closed by a wall section containing an arch: a solution adopted from the Portico di Ottavia in Rome which will thereafter become usual practice in the pronaos of his villas


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Old July 31st, 2009, 04:51 PM   #3
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Palazzo Valmarana


The foundation medal of this building bears engraved the date 1566 as well as the bust of Isabella Nogarola Valmarana, and it is the latter who signed the construction contracts with the builders in December 1565. Nevertheless, no doubts can remain about the role her deceased husband, Giovanni Alvise (died 1558), played in choosing Palladio as designer of his family palace. In 1549, along with Girolamo Chiericati and naturally Trissino, Giovanni Alvise Valmarana had publicly supported Palladio’s project for the porticoes of the Basilica, evidently on the basis of an opinion formed six years prior, when Giovanni Alvise supervised the execution of ephemeral structures, conceived by Palladio under Trissino’s direction, to honour the entrance into Vicenza of Bishop Ridolfi (1543). Furthermore, it was a space designed by Palladio — the Valmarana chapel in Santa Corona — which would eventually host the mortal remains of Giovanni Alvise and Isabella, on the commission of their son Leonardo.On the site later occupied by the new Cinquecento palace, the Valmarana family possessed buildings right from the end of the Quattrocento, which were progressively combined until they became the object of Palladio’s renovation. The planimetric irregularity of the internal spaces doubtless derives from the oblique orientation of the façade and of pre-existing walls. In this sense it becomes quite evident just how much the Olympian regularity of the palace illustrated in the Quattro Libri was the product of Palladio’s usual theoretical abstraction, especially since not only was the extension of the palace beyond the square courtyard never realised, but nor does it seem it was even intended by Leonardo Valmarana, who bought up neighbouring properties rather than continuing the construction of the family palace.
The façade of the Palazzo Valmarana is both one of Palladio’s most extraordinary and most individual realizations. For the first time in a palace, a giant order embraces the entire vertical expanse of the building: evidently this was a solution which found its origins in Palladio’s experimentation with the façades of religious buildings, such as the almost contemporary façade of San Francesco della Vigna. Just as the nave and aisles are projected onto the same plane in the Venetian church, so too on the façade of the Palazzo Valmarana the stratification of two systems becomes evident: the giant order of the six Composite pilasters seems to be superimposed on the minor order of Corinthian pilasters, in a far more evident way at the edges where the absence of the final pilaster serves to reveal the underlying order which supports a bas-relief of a warrior who bears the Valmarana arms.
Rather than abstract geometrical constructions, the compositional logic of these civil and religious façades derived from Palladio’s familiarity with the techniques of draughting, in particular the orthogonal representations by which he visualised projects and reconstructed antique buildings, and which moreover allowed him a punctilious control over the relationships between the building’s interior and exterior.


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particolare:
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[IMG]http://i25.************/29z8qxl.jpg[/IMG]
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Old July 31st, 2009, 04:54 PM   #4
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Palazzo Thiene


In October 1542 Marcantonio and Adriano Thiene began to remodel their Quattrocentesco family palace to a grandiose project, which would have occupied an entire city block of 54 x 62 metres and faced onto Vicenza’s principal artery (today’s Corso Palladio). The rich, powerful and sophisticated Thiene brothers belonged to that great Italian nobility which could moved with ease between Europe’s most important courts: they therefore required a domestic stage adequate for the cosmopolitan nobility of their guests who might visit them. At the same time, as exponents of a well-defined, political faction in the city’s aristocracy, they desired a princely palace to emphasise their proper role in the city itself, as the sign of their true seigniorial power.
When, in 1614, the English architect Inigo Jones visited the palace he noted down information directly garnered from Vincenzo Scamozzi and Palma il Giovane: “this project was made by Giulio Romano and executed by Palladio”. Most probably, in fact, the original conception of the Palazzo Thiene should be attributed to the mature and expert Giulio Romano (from 1573 at the Mantuan court of the Gonzagas, with whom the Thiene enjoyed the closest rapport) and the young Palladio was responsible rather for the executive design and execution of the building, a role which became ever more essential after Giulio’s death in 1546.
The elements of the palace which are attributable to Giulio and alien to Palladio’s vocabulary are clearly recognisable: the four-column atrium is substantially identical with that of the Palazzo del Te (even if Palladio indubitably modified its vaulting system); also Giulian are the windows and the ground storey fa?ades onto the street and courtyard, while Palladio must have been defined the upper storey trabeation and capitals.
Works began on the building in 1542. In December of the same year, Giulio Romano visited Vicenza for two weeks as a consultant on the Loggias for the Basilica. Probably on this occasion he supplied the outline project for the Palazzo Thiene. But works proceeded slowly: on the external fa?ade is inscribed the date 1556, and in the courtyard 1558. In 1552 Adriano Thiene died in France and thereafter, when Marcantonio’s son Giulio became Marchese di Scandiano, family interests gradually shifted to Ferrara. As a result only a small portion of the grandiose project was ever realised, but probably neither the Venetians nor the other Vicentine nobles would have accepted such a private kingdom in the centre of their city.

Facciata quattrocentesca
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interno:
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[IMG]http://i29.************/16llcme.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i31.************/okmu1g.jpg[/IMG]
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Old July 31st, 2009, 05:01 PM   #5
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Nice thread Niceforo!
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Old July 31st, 2009, 05:02 PM   #6
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Palazzo Barbaran da Porto


The sumptuous residence realised between 1570 and 1575 for the Vicentine noble Montano Barbarano is the only great city palace that Andrea Palladio succeeded in executing in its entirety. At least three different autograph projects survive, preserved in London, which document alternative hypotheses for the building’s plan, all quite different from the actual one and testimony to a complex design process. Barbarano, in fact, requested Palladio to respect the existence of various houses belonging to the family and already existing on the area of the new palace. Moreover, once the project was finalised Barbarano acquired a further house adjoining the property, which resulted in the asymmetrical positioning of the entrance portal. In any case, the constraints imposed by the site and by a practical patron became the occasion for courageous and refined solutions: Palladio’s intervention is magisterial, elaborating upon a sophisticated project for “restructuring” which blended the diverse pre-existing structures into a unified edifice.
On the ground floor, a magnificent four-columned atrium welds together the two pre-existing building lots. In realising the scheme, Palladio was called upon to resolve two problems: one statical, how to support the floor of the great hall on the piano nobile; the other compositional, how to restore a symmetrical appearance to interiors compromised by the oblique course of the perimeter walls from the pre-existing houses. Departing from the model of the wings of the Theatre of Marcellus in Rome, Palladio divided the interior into three aisles, placing centrally four Ionic columns which allowed the reduction of the span of the central cross-vaults, set against lateral barrel vaults. He thus achieved a very statically efficient framework capable of bearing the floor of the hall above without any difficulty.
The central columns were then tied to the perimeter walls by fragments of rectilinear trabeation, which absorb the irregularities of the atrium plan: in this way he realised a sort of system of “serlianas”, a stratagem conceptually similar to that of the Basilica loggias. Palladio even adopted the unusual type of Ionic capital — derived from the Temple of Saturn in the Forum Romanum — because it permitted him to mask the slight but significant rotations necessary to align the columns and engaged columns.
To decorate the palace, in several campaigns Montano employed some of the greatest artists of his time: Battista Zelotti (who had already intervened in the interiors of Palladio’s Villa Emo at Fanzolo), Anselmo Canera and Andrea Vicentino; the stuccoes were entrusted to Lorenzo Rubini (who contemporaneously executed the external decorations of the Loggia del Capitanio) and, after his death in 1574, to his son Agostino. The net result was a sumptuous palace capable of rivalling the residences of the Thiene, the Porto and of the Valmarana, a palace which permitted its patron to represent himself to the city as an ranking member of the Vicentine cultural élite.
In his History of Vicenza of 1591, Iacopo Marzari records Montano Barbarano as a man “of belles lettres and most excellent musician”. Various flutes figure in the 1592 inventory of the palace, confirming the existence of an intensive musical activity there.

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Old July 31st, 2009, 05:04 PM   #7
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Palazzo Thiene Bonin Longare


There are more doubts than certainties surrounding the history of the villa that Francesco Thiene built on family properties at the eastern extremity of the Strada Maggiore (today the Corso Palladio), beginning with the exact date of its construction. At Palladio’s death the building had still not been executed: on the Pianta Angelica of 1580, in fact, there still appear only old houses and a garden. A document of 1586 records that construction had still not begun and certainly in 1593, on the death of the patron Francesco Thiene, the palace was at least a third built. Enea Thiene, who inherited the estate of his uncle Francesco, carried works to their conclusion, probably within the first decade of the seventeenth century. In 1835 the palace was acquired by Lelio Bonin Longare.
In his treatise L’Idea della Architettura Universale (published in Venice in 1615), Vincenzo Scamozzi writes that he was responsible for completing the building’s construction on the basis of a project by another architect (without specifying whom) with certain revisions to the original design (which, he does not clarify). The architect that Scamozzi does not name is certainly Andrea Palladio, because two autograph sheets survive which can be referred to Francesco Thiene’s palace: on these are traced two plan variants, substantially close to the present building, as well as a sketch for the façade which is very different from that executed. It is unclear when Palladio formulated his own ideas for the palazzo, but it is credible that he did so in 1572, the year in which Francesco Thiene and his uncle Orazio divided up the family properties and the former obtained the very site where Palladio’s edifice would rise.
If one analyses the realised building, various elements stand out which favour a dating to the 1570s: for example, the many points of contact with the Palazzo Barbaran da Porto, both in the design of the lower part and in the great, double-storey loggia of the courtyard. Instead, the side could be the work of Vincenzo Scamozzi, given its affinities with the Palazzo Trissino by the Duomo. The deep atrium, which is substantially indifferent to the grid of orders, could also be by Scamozzi and it is interesting to note that while the rooms on its right, as one enters, clearly reuse rather irregular, pre-existing walls, those on the left are perfectly regular and evidently rise from new foundations.

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[IMG]http://i25.************/27xgm03.jpg[/IMG]
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Old July 31st, 2009, 05:07 PM   #8
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Palazzo Porto


It is very probable that Iseppo (Giuseppe) Porto’s decision to undertake construction of a great palace in the Contrada dei Porti was taken to emulate the edifice that his brothers-in-law Adriano and Marcantonio Thiene had begun to erect, in 1542, only a stone’s throw away. It is also possible that it was Iseppo’s very marriage to Livia Thiene, in the first half of the 1540s, which provided the concrete occasion for summoning Andrea Palladio.
Allied with the Thiene, the Porto were one of the city’s rich and powerful families, and the palaces of the family’s various branches were ranked along the Contrada which today still bears their name. Iseppo was an influential personality, with various responsibilities in the public administration of the city, responsibilities which on more than one occasion were intertwined with the assignments entrusted to Palladio.
Relations between the two must very probably have been closer than between patron and architect, if we consider that thirty years after the project for Iseppo’s city palace Palladio designed and began to build a great villa for him at Molina di Malo, subsequently never completed. The two friends died in the same year, 1580.
The palace was inhabitable from December 1549, though less than half the façade was standing and would only be completed three years later, in 1552. Numerous autograph drawings by Palladio record the complex design process. They show that right from the beginning Palladio planned for two distinct, residential blocks, one to lie along the street and the other contiguous to the back wall of the courtyard. In the Quattro Libri the two blocks are interconnected by a majestic courtyard with enormous Composite columns: this is quite clearly a re-elaboration of the original idea in the interests of publication.
Compared with the Palazzo Civena, only built a few years earlier, the Palazzo Porto fully illustrates the extent of Palladio’s evolution after the journey to Rome in 1541 and his acquaintance with both antique and contemporary architecture. The Bramantean model of Palazzo Caprini is here reinterpreted, with Palladio observing the Vicentine custom of living on the ground floor, which is higher as a result. The splendid, four-columned atrium represents Palladio’s reinterpretation of Vitruvian spaces, but one where traditional Vicentine typologies also survive.
The two rooms to the left of the atrium were frescoed by Paolo Veronese and Domenico Brusasorzi, while the stuccoes are by Ridolfi. On the palace attic, the statues of Iseppo and his son Leonida, in antique Roman garb, keep watch over the entrance of visitors to their house.

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Old July 31st, 2009, 05:09 PM   #9
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Casa Cogollo


Though known as the “House of Palladio”, in reality this building has no connection whatsoever with the residence of the Vicentine master. Rather it is its dimensions, quite contained if compared to the monumental emphasis of other Palladian palaces, which has forced into error all those who sought a visible sign of the architect’s domicile in the city. In truth, the Maggior Consiglio forced the notary Pietro Cogollo to remodel the façade of his Quattrocento house as a contribution to the “decorum of the city”, making this provision (and a monetary investment in the work of not less than 250 ducats) a condition of the positive response to his request to gain Vicentine Ccitizenship.
In the absence of documents and autograph designs, the attribution to Palladio of this most elegant façade still divides scholars. Yet, because of the intelligence of the architectural solution proposed, as well as the design of all the details, it is difficult to refer the project to any other designer. The constraints posed by a narrow space and the impossibility of opening windows at the centre of the piano nobile (because of an existing fireplace and its flue) induced Palladio to emphasise the façade’s central axis, by realising a structure with a ground floor arch flanked by engaged columns, and on the upper storey a sort of tabernacle which framed a fresco by Giovanni Antonio Fasolo.
The ground level arch is flanked by two rectangular spaces which illuminate and provide access to the portico. Altogether they compose a type of serliana, as already done at the Basilica. The result is a composition of great monumental and expressive force, despite the simplicity of the means available.

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[IMG]http://i25.************/28vvqbr.jpg[/IMG]
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Old July 31st, 2009, 05:14 PM   #10
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Palazzo Porto in piazza Castello


The impressive section of palace which forms the backdrop to Piazza del Castello is the compelling testimony to the unfortunate demise of a Palladian initiative. To the left of the fragment is clearly visible the old Quattrocento home of the Porto family, which should have been progressively demolished as construction of the new palace advanced: given the results one cannot but appreciate the farsighted prudence of the patron, Alessandro Porto. The dating is uncertain, though undoubtedly after 1570, both because the Palazzo was not included in the Quattro Libri (published in Venice that same year) and also because Alessandro inherited the family properties in Piazza Castello after the death of his father Benedetto, at the time of the division of the family goods with his brothers Orazio and Pompeo in 1571.
Francesco Thiene, the owner of the homonymous Palazzo by Palladio at the other end of the Piazza, married Isabella Porto, Alessandro’s sister, and just as in the cases of Iseppo Porto and his brothers-in-law Marcantonio and Adriano Thiene, it was perhaps really the rivalry between the two families which instigated the unusual dimensions of Palazzo Porto. On the other hand, the location of the Palazzo, as backdrop to the Piazza, made necessary an accentuated monumentality capable of dominating this great, open, fronting space: a logic with which Palladio had experimented a few years previously in the Loggia del Capitaniato, in the Piazza dei Signori.
In all probability the Palazzo was intended to grow to seven bays in length and have a courtyard concluding in an exedra, as analysis of the surviving walls demonstrates. It is unclear what circumstances halted the construction, which Vincenzo Scamozzi declares he had personally carried to its present, partial, conclusion in 1615.


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spaccato del progetto del Palladio visto lateralmente:
[IMG]http://i30.************/orv538.jpg[/IMG]
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Old July 31st, 2009, 07:54 PM   #11
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GORGEOUS!
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un'altra curiosità della svezia per dire...è che ci sono pochissimi immigrati rispetto a qua
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Old July 31st, 2009, 08:11 PM   #12
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Those buildings in Vicenza are nothing less than architectural masterpieces! Beautiful!
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Old August 1st, 2009, 11:10 AM   #13
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Amazing photos of Vicenza city very very nice
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Old August 1st, 2009, 01:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niceforo View Post
(100° post, da festeggiare con il palazzo più bello)

Palazzo Chiericati


[IMG]http://i28.************/2cnbk3a.jpg[/IMG]

]
Here we can see how Palladio influenced the 18th century American architecture, I daresay...
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Old August 1st, 2009, 03:08 PM   #15
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Thanks. That was most interesting.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 03:55 PM   #16
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Palazzo Schio


In 1560 Palladio designed for Bernardo Schio the fa?ade of his house in Vicenza, in the neighbourhood of the Ponte Pusterla. Since Palladio was occupied in these years with a series of Venetian projects which required his almost permanent presence in the capital, his supervision of the building works on the Palazzo Schio became so distracted that the master-mason charged with its execution interrupted works for want of any clear instructions. After Bernardo’s death his widow showed no interest in concluding the works, which were only completed by Bernardo’s brother Fabrizio, in 1574-1575, after the stones and other construction materials had long lain piled up in the villa’s courtyard.

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[IMG]http://i31.************/2wn3imp.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i31.************/n4b3va.jpg[/IMG]
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Old August 1st, 2009, 04:55 PM   #17
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Chiesa di Santa Maria Nova


In 1578 the Vicentine noble Lodovico Trento earmarked a sizeable sum of money for the reconstruction of a small church attached to the convent of the Augustinian nuns of Santa Maria Nova in Borgo Porta Nuova, west of the city. By 1590, twelve years later, the church had been completed and was decorated with canvases by foremost artists like Maffei, the Maganza, Andrea Vicentino, and Carpioni. The convent, constructed from 1539 onwards, was amongst the most important in the city and hosted numerous daughters from the aristocratic families of Vicenza, such as the Valmarana, Piovene, Angarano, Revese, Garzadori and Monza.
Although neither documents nor autograph drawings exist to prove Palladio’s authorship of the church, it seems very probable that the building resulted from a project he had drawn up around 1578 and was then realised (after Palladio’s death in 1580) under the supervision of the capomastro Domenico Groppino, whose name appears in the relevant documentation. Furthermore, in 1583, Montano Barbarano — the patron of Palladio’s palace in the Contra’ Porti — also set aside a notable amount of money for the construction of the church of the convent which accommodated his two daughters, and Domenico Groppino is known to have been Montano’s tried and trusted builder.
The evidence of the architecture itself excludes the possibility that Groppino, a simple capomastro, could have been the church’s designer. The church has a single nave, in the form of an ancient temple cella, entirely bounded by engaged Corinthian columns on plinths: quite close in appearance to the Roman temple at Nîmes which Palladio had drawn in the Quattro Libri.
It would be most difficult to distance the name of Andrea Palladio from the power, but also inventive freedom, of this interior and also of its façade, if for no other reason than the fact that a simple imitator would have operated within a much more conventional register. Certain errors and uncertainties of construction should probably be ascribed to Groppino.

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Old August 1st, 2009, 08:16 PM   #18
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 12:58 AM   #19
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Finora abbiamo soltanto giocato, adesso arrivano i pezzi da 90

Loggia del Capitanio

When one compares the Gothic arches of the Palazzo Ducale in Venezia to the loggias of Palladio’s Basilica, inspired by the classical language of ancient Rome (and even more if one compares the Cinquecento palaces of Vicenza with those on the Grand Canal) the Vicentines’ desire to emphasise a cultural autonomy from the architectural models of La Serenissima becomes quite clear. Nevertheless, twenty years later, when the Citizen Council commissioned for the same piazza the refacing of the official residence of the Venetian Captaincy, the military head in charge of the city on behalf of the Venetian Republic, Palladio would still be the protagonist of the undertaking, and the contest, if any, was between two extraordinary architectures rising one in front of the other.
It is extremely rare that any architect has the possibility to intervene twice in the same place, with an interval of twenty years. The young architect of the Basilica, then still under the supervision of Giovanni da Porlezza, was by now the celebrated author of several important buildings: churches, palaces and villas for the dominant élite of the Veneto. Palladio chose that the two buildings not converse: confronting the purism of the Basilica’s double-storey arcades (in white stone and devoid of decoration, if one ignores the design of architectural elements like the frieze, keystones and statues) are the Loggia’s colossal engaged Composite columns stemming the tide of very rich stucco decorations.
Both the use of the giant order and this decorative richness are twin traits peculiar to Palladio’s language in the last decade of his life. However, the chromatic contrast between the white of the stone and the red of the brick (even though desired by Palladio in the Convento della Carità in Venice) is only the product of the original surfaces’ degradation: ample remains of the light stucco which once covered the bricks are still quite visible, just below the great Composite capitals.
The Palladian loggia substituted an analogous, structure which had stood on the same site from the Middle Ages, and which had already been reconstructed at least twice during the Cinquecento: a covered public loggia on the ground floor and an audience hall on the upper storey. The new construction became economically viable in April 1571 and works began immediately. Palladio supplied the last drawings for the moulding templates in March 1572 and by the end of that year the building was roofed if Giannantonio Fasolo could paint the lacunars of the audience hall and Lorenzo Rubini execute the stuccoes and statues.
While the upper hall displays a flat, coffered ceiling, the ground floor loggia has a sophisticated vault covering, certainly to better sustain the weight of the hall. The overall design is extremely sophisticated, as for example the portals which open within the niches and follow their curvature.
It is fruitless to engage in the sterile and age-old debate on the hypothesised intentional extension of the loggia to five (or seven?) bays. What is altogether more interesting is Palladio’s compositional liberty, designing in a radically different manner the façade onto the Piazza to that on the Contra’ del Monte, thereby somewhat rupturing the building’s unitary logic.
On closer observation, however, Palladio limited himself to applying an adequate response to different situations: the piazza’s broad visual frontage (also bearing in mind the dimensional constraints of the narrow façade) made necessary the powerful verticalising of the giant order; the reduced dimensions both of the building’s flank and of the Contra’ del Monte itself obliged the use of a more temperate order. Moreover, the façade onto the Contra’ del Monte would be used as a sort of perennial triumphal arch recording the victory gained by the Venetian forces over the Turks at the battle of Lepanto in October 1571.

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Old August 2nd, 2009, 01:24 AM   #20
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Villa Almerico Capra detta La Rotonda


Although the Villa Rotonda is the universal icon of the Palladian villa, in reality its owner considered it an urban residence, or — more appropriately — a suburban one. Paolo Almerico in fact sold his own palace in the city in order to move just beyond its walls, and Palladio himself publishes the Rotonda amongst the palaces, not the villas, in the Quattro Libri. Otherwise the villa is isolated on the crest of a small hill and originally there were no agricultural dependencies.
The canon Paolo Almerico, for whom Palladio designed the villa in 1566, was a man of shifting fortunes, who had returned to Vicenza after a brilliant career in the Papal court. The villa was already inhabitable by 1569, but still incomplete, and in 1591, two years after Almerico’s death, it was ceded to the brothers Odorico and Marco Capra who carried it through to completion. Scamozzi, who succeeded Palladio as architect after 1580, substantially completed the project with some deviations which recent studies tend to consider very conservative.
Certainly not a villa-farm, the Villa Rotonda is rather a villa-temple, an abstraction, a mirror of a higher order and harmony. Its corners oriented to the four compass points, and it wishes to be read above all as a volume, cube and sphere, almost as if it recalled the basic solids of the Platonic universe. Certainly the sources for such a centrally planned residential building were various, from the projects of Francesco di Giorgio inspired by the Villa Hadriana or the “Study of Varro”, to Mantegna’s own house in Mantua (or the “Camera degli Sposi” in the Palazzo Ducale), to Raphael’s project for the Villa Madama. Nevertheless the Villa Rotonda remains unique in the architecture of any epoch almost as if, by building a villa which corresponded perfectly unto itself, Palladio had wished to construct an ideal model of his own architecture.
The decoration of the building is sumptuous, with works by Lorenzo Rubini and Giambattista Albanese (statues), Agostino Rubini, Ottavio Ridolfi, Bascapè, Fontana and perhaps Alessandro Vittoria (the plastic decorations of the ceilings and fireplaces), Anselmo Canera, Bernardino India, Alessandro Maganza and much later Ludovico Dorigny (pictorial decorations).


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