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The Architecture Of The Renaissance Palazzo History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

The history of Palazzo Medici Riccardi is quite fascinating and is also wealthy in art cultural and political and worldly events. The Palazzo is believed to be one of the finest and most renowned in Florence and it plays a significant part in the story of the city and it marking it out all the important phases in its growth. The structure was built in the mid 15th Century by Michelozzo commissioned by the Medici, and it became the model of Renaissance national architecture. Its strong and rigorous pile of the mansion which was initially planned in the form of a cube then became the most express and successful representation of the political and cultural supremacy Medici in Florence. The Palazzo Medici Riccardi became one of the most well built buildings during the time.

After being neglected for a number of years the Medici sold the Palazzo to the Riccardi who enlarged it northwards and also refurbished the interior. The Baroque flavour modifications were done to show the plentiful and sophistication of culture. The building was in 1814 sold to the Roman State which has in the last century assumed a policy of recovery and valorization of the structure and the works housed inside.

Because of their secular the Renaissance were symbols of human triumph similar to those found in villas and in palaces. The were mainly built for mercantile and princely families such as the Medici -Riccardi, Pandolfini and others. Palazzos varied in some details but the common characteristics included; they were built up in fundamentally urban areas, each could fill a city block, the building were constructed right up the street frontage to allow the cliff of masonry work to be visible to the outer world, each housed an internal courtyard which was shade and colonnaded with charm, the ground floor of each housed the offices, kitchens, stables and guardrooms, ground floor was build of rusticated stone to create a firm foundation to provide safe impenetrable defenses while the upper floors were build from smooth ashlar blocks of non -visible joints to symbolize refinement of the living area.

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Architecture of the palazzo

The Roman Renaissance architecture focused itself in religion and family motivation was focused at procuring houses for the Cardinals and the majority of the Rome’s big structures were part of these motivated programs. The most unique characteristics of the Classical Roman architecture were implemented by the Renaissance architects. The churches were among the earliest structures of the reborn Classicism which were very unique in to be constructed in Rome but at that time there were no designs for the type of large city houses that were needed by the rich merchants of the 15th Century. The plan of Renaissance buildings had a square, proportioned look in which the proportions were normally based on the section. Filippo Brunelleschi was the first to introduce the design to incorporate the plan with the frontage as an issue in his work but he was not able to finish his work into fruition. The advancement of the plan in secular architecture took place in the 16th Century and was finished by the Palladios’ work. Frontages are proportional in the region of the vertical axis and church facades. The facades of churches were mounted by a pediment and arranged by a system of pilasters or arches. One of the earliest Renaissance façade was the Cathedral of Pienza and it was designed by Florentine architect Rossellino with Albeti. In domestic building the facades were often mounted by a cornice and there was a standard repetition of openings on each floor and a centrally placed door which was noticed by a feature such as a balcony. The first prototype façade was the Palazzo Rubella built between 1446 and 1451.

The Romans built columns in orders which were either structural, purely decorative or set against a wall in form of pillars. Architects of the renaissance were using pillars columns in joined together system. Arches which are semicircular were used in arcades and they were supported on columns with centers. Vaults and domes were also used in the renaissance.

It was during the periods of between the 15th and the 16th centuries that the Renaisance Palazzo were built first in Florence City and later in Rome. The Palazzo consisted of a 3-4 storey housing which had rusticated ground floor and standard understated windows on two refined upper floor and they were finished with elaborate cornice. The architects studied for a common harmony of design since they believed architecture was an art form. They building did not have pilasters or columns but instead it had pediments which were triangular in shape and alternating and in regular patterns.

The most vital aspect of Renaissance plan was the searching for beauty of simple mathematical and geometric principles. Before the construction of any great building there was a blueprint with symmetrical and balanced forms based on squares, circles and triangles. After drawing the blueprint the architects then worked out the required proportions of materials required for the construction of the building. A printing press was invented in 1450, and the ancient books on architecture were made available to the

architects and craftsmen of the time. The Renaissance treaties on architecture drafted by Albert’s were offered and were used as the principles for architecture in Italy and the rest

of Europe.

Kneeling windows in Palazzo Medici

Palazzo Medici Riccardi Excerpted from

Excerpted from Palazzo Medici Apr 2008(2)jpg from

Renaissance structure architecture is about balance and using mathematical ratios to form the basis of the design with building being built on grids containing squares and circles and other overlapping geometric shapes. The architects aimed at creating harmonious designs by linking pleasing proportions in agreement like in music. It was well thought-out that the intermingling of architecture, art, science and music to be a sign that mankind and natural world had found a marvelous unity. It was considered that the fundamental laws of natural world and that of Almighty God could be revealed in the divine appearance of the building.

The Venice palazzo of the Renaissance achieves its quality from the disagreements obliged upon it by its location, government legislature and the tenants call to authenticate their prosperity, power and class. It is unique when compared to Roman or Florentine counterparts, free from the threat of attack, in the security the mere offers, the palaces are signs of prosperity, architectural intelligence, executive and commercial power, as different to the imposing, protective architectural language of the fortresses of the unstable and safe Italian cities. The Venice Palazzo was supposed to be a family home and also an attraction for the family. In the rebirth of prehistoric Rome, architects brought to Venice a new and fundamental transformation in the architecture of the city although it is clear that the conservatism and fanaticism for preservation of tradition that survived in Venetian legislative position confined the freedom rebirth architects had to articulate fully their perception of wholesome roman classicism.

Palazzo Venice

The functions needed of the Renaissance palazzo in Venice differ very little from the functions needed of the palace in the centuries of the republic before the 16thCentury. The palazzo was residence to the immediate family a wealthy merchant who was also a member of the upper classes. As mentioned above, the palazzo was residence only to his immediate family and in Florence and Rome show sections of the palaces reserved for the owner’s larger family. The separation of families was aspect of geography and with Venice being in an island meant there was no enough space for larger families to live at one address. Political influences obviously had a part to play, as the majority of palaces were residences to Doges or relations of Doges, issue to strict government laws, prohibited his family members from holding office for the duration of his time in power and separation of families was essential by law. A smaller house than those seen in Italy at that time was required.

The palaces served as a confirmation of a family’s riches and status; therefore they were needed to be architecturally logical through the exact execution of standard components, proportions and gradation of the orders. Similarly in Italy in the 16th Century, Venice architecture took a remarkable turn, from the Veneto-Byzantine-gothic was dominant in the city to a pure new and modern classicism. The purpose of the to the occupant was to give shelter and act as an symbol of wealth, that much has been established, however it is the duty to uphold tradition and convention that resulted to the architecture of Renaissance Venice to being different considerably from the architecture of Italy. The features of the palazzo have remained invariable throughout Venice’s history and this has served to be characteristics of Venice city. The small space made it necessary to use land efficiently the design in Venice is of a rectangular and flat waterfront frontage and is always the standard façade, regardless of the dimension of the canal looks. This principle could not be dumped of in favor of the principles of classicism, architecture of depth, volume and outlook. Physical restrictions were also enforced on the design of the palaces, legislative laws controlled the upper classes using too much wealth in the design of their palazzo, and to uphold the practices of the cities architecture, regulations restricting any overhanging eaves, any decorative statuary and banisters lining roofs.

Despite palazzos serving as status symbols they also had a duty to stick to the laws by avoiding too much presentation of any single family’s affluence and power, and preserving the aesthetical practice of the confined building type. This resulted to a frustrated form of the classicism as set up in Renaissance Italy at the time.

The Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi was one of the first palaces built in the classical style, finished in 1504, designed by the architect Codussi. It is a fascinating case study in architecture of Venetian Renaissance palazzo, is one of the original buildings for the Venetian renaissance and it plan was drawn by the Loredan family, aristocracy in Venice in the 1500’s and three of their members were Doges.

They had a status of the construction in mind which was an absolute master-class in aristocratic domestic architecture of Renaissance.

The Venice Palazzo is a well-preserved replica dated from the beginning of the republic; the great striking element of any palace in Venice is the design of its façade. This model is constant all through the existing Venetian palaces of Venice today its tripartite frontage is applied to house the large hall on the first story and at right angles to the canal, lit by a central arrangement of windows at the front part and back of the building.

The Palazzo of Venice responds to the uses required of it by patrons, families and the town itself by providing mixture of architectural look, answers to problems of conformity, assimilation of classical style into a remarkable the city fabric, holding to laws of classicism and the use of such laws to circumstances that help to distinguish the Venice city. Architecture represents knowledge which helps the architect to understand the intricacies of the upper-class Venetians palace, and the architect required to build a building that will reflect to the public the lifestyle of the patrons.

The palazzo of Venice was the first palace frontage in which the classical orders showed the whole structure and this language was used to enhance the intellectual nature of the use of this new style of pure architecture, the orders are used, not only to indicate at a on going arcade effect, but to communicate to the public dominance of the building. This could be seen as a means of showing the family’s power, where intellect of ancient Rome and structural principals are essential to fully appreciate architecture is a worldwide tool in the renaissance for exerting authority and power over a local area, or indeed in a legislative capacity.

The Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi applies the Corinthian order for all three floors, however their application slightly differ in each instance. The lower floor, the canal edge is without rustication which form a key part in Renaissance architects list. The first floor, the piano nobile, is decorated with fluted columns, a clear suggestion of the significance of the first floor in the everyday lives of the occupants. For the upper floor a simple Corinthian order is applied, still a vital place in the palace, but deferential to the first floor. The orders are skillfully and subtly implying the varying importance of the areas of a palace and different occasions the family would like to use them for they can use ground floor for entrance and offices, 1st floor for entertaining visitors as main hall, 2nd floor for sleeping and everyday living.

Citations

S Kostof, A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals. 2nd Edn, Oxford University Press, New York, 1995, p.35.

Jacob B. & Peter Murray, The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance, 2nd edn ,University of Chicago,Washington DC, 1927, p.23

Charles Burroughs. The Italian Palace Façade: Structures of Authority, Sufaces of Sense. Cambridge University Press, H-Italy, 2004, p. 1-3.

Aby Warburg, Die Baubeginn des Palazzo Medici, Gesamelte Schriften Leipzig and Berlin, 1932: v. I, 165.

Bruno, Santi, ‘Palazzo Medici Riccardi.’ Lo Studiolo, Florence, 1993, retrieved 11 February 2010,

Charles,Buroghs, The Italian Renaissance Palace Façade and Structures, 4th Edn, Cambridge University Press, 2002, p.23.

Middlemore, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, Vol .2 London, English SGC

1860.

Nikolaus Pevsner, An Outline of European Architecture. London: Pelican Printers, 1964,p.11.

Marion Kaminski, Art and Architecture of Venice, 1999, Konemann

Arnold Hauser, Mannerisms: The Crisis of the Renaissance and the Origins of Modern Art, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1965.

Robert, E, Wolf & Ronald Millen, Renaissance and Mannerist Art, 5th Edn, Harry N.Abrams Publishers, London, 1986.

Sir Banister & Cruickshank,Dan, A History of Architecture, 20th Edition,

Architectural press, London,1984.

Howard S, Filippo Brunelleschi: The Buildings, Zwemmer Publishers, London, 1993.

Joseph Rykwert, Leonis Baptiste Alberti, Architectural Design, Vol 49 Holland Street, London

Renaissance architecture, retrieved on 11 February 2010


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