Classical Architecture

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Meaning “rebirth” in French, the Renaissance in Italy represented a reawakening of classical ideals in art. Beginning in the 14th century, the revival of interest in antiquity inspired architects of the age to construct buildings of incredible proportion and symmetry that exuded harmony and order. The renewed concern with classicism sparked the creative imaginations of Renaissance architects, who referred to ancient architecture as a model which they often studied for inspiration. Though Renaissance buildings often look very similar to the antique models which inspired them, architects only borrowed the principles of Roman architecture and made the designs according to their own ideas and interpretations, often striving to surpass the works…show more content…
The Palazzo Medici is a Renaissance palace built between 1444 and 1484. Like Alberti’s church façade, the exterior of the Palazzo Medici is clearly influenced by classical architecture. Although the rusticated masonry and the cornice had precedents in Roman buildings, Michelozzo’s design is distinctly his own, meshing medieval styles with an interest in the classical. The premier striking feature of the Palazzo Medici is the rustication of the of façade which becomes increasingly refined each story. Separated by unbroken stringcourses, the tiers of the building are divided into stories of decreasing height, an effect that creates an illusion of greater height. The innovative combination of shorter stories and increasing smoothness of the Palazzo Medici emphasizes the height and scale of the building, as it appears progressively lighter and taller as the eye moves upward. The emphasis on the horizontal line, which also creates an illusion of greater size, is especially enhanced by the enormous Roman inspired cornice which includes classical features such as modillions, egg-and-dart moldings, and a dentil course. The repetitive use of round arches around the windows and doors is inherently classical in style and adds a dimension of harmony to the building. Bartolomeo’s…show more content…
Built in the courtyard of San Pietro in Montorio in Rome in 1502, the Tempietto is a small commemorative tomb for St. Peter. Drawing from the style of early Greek temples called a tholos, the Tempietto uses a centralized plan of a peristyle enveloping a cella. Harkening back to the classical obsession with symmetry and proportion, Bramante achieved an incredible harmony and balance between the dome, drum and base. Additional features such as the stylobate, steps, colonnade and dome all are derived from classical architecture. The columns are an example of the Doric order. The circular temple supports a classical entablature, consisting of a frieze with triglyphs and metopes, which consist of symbols of Christian passion. Although antique models provided the inspiration for all its details, the combination of parts and details were new and original, especially the fusion of the antique with new Renaissance styles. For example, Bramante adds a dome, which had a renewed interest in the Renaissance, to a tholos design which traditionally did not include a domed roof. The Tempietto is the perfect example of the Renaissance relationship between ideal ancient geometry, perfection and the divine. The connection between ideal ancient geometry and the divine was very important to Renaissance artists who strove to create

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