The Private Palladio

Pubblicato: ottobre 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

“Andrea Palladio’s Renaissance villa architecture is admired for its elegance and harmony, but little is known about the person behind the buildings”. “The Private Palladio” by Guido Beltramini (Lars Müller Publishers) is a wonderful book that helps us to discover not only Palladio’s origins, his training and his relationships with clients and scholars, but also his private and secret life.

The story begins in front of a pig –not one of flesh and bone, but one painted on a wall above the bench where the judge of the Officio del Porco recorded the born of Andrea Palladio, in the great hall of the Palazzo della Ragione in Padua.

Andrea’s father, Pietro della Gondola, lived in Borgo Rogati and was a miller. Andrea was born during terrible war times: the family was living in front of the Castello which the Venetians reconquered with cannonades during the night of July 17, 1509. The life was so dangerous that they to move to Vicenza.

Andrea’s first job was as a stonemason where the child learns from Zossan all the secrets of the stone work, the knowledge of his work.

Trissino played a prominent role in the early career of Andrea Palladio and first took him under his wing. Trissino was an renaissance humanist, poet, dramatist, diplomat and grammarian. He was born of a patrician family in Vicenza. During one of his trips to Germany, Emperor Maximilian I of Hasburg autorizes him to add the predicate “dal Vello d’oro” to his last name and the modification of the coat of arms.

He was the one who changed the name of Andrea della Gondola in Andrea “Palladio” as the liberating angel taken from his poem “L’Italia liberata dai Goti”. Trissino took care of the education of the architect intended primary as a specialized technician. This concept was somewhat unusual in that era, an era in which the architect had the task of “humanist”. You can not understand the education and technique of Palladio without mentioning the help and protection of Trissino.

Palladio’s fame is due not only by his buildings, it come also from the book “I Quattro Libri di Architettura” (1570) in which he illustrated the vocabulary and the grammar that are the basis of his architecture. That language was able to respond to the pratical and social needs of his time. The treatise helped to spread his fame and projects that become models for new constructions throughout the world.

Guido Beltrami has been director of the Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio since 1991.  He was visiting professor at the University o f Ferrara and Milan, fellow at Villa I Tatti and the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. He curated exhibitions and taught all over the world.

Il Redentore


Villa Trissino, Vicenza




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