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Theory in Antiquity &
Rennaissance
• Vitruvius
• Leon Battista Alberti
• Andrea Palladio
Vitruvius
• Architectural theory in the West begins with Vitruvius.
• The Ten Books on Architecture composed by this
Roman...
• His ten books on architecture, De Architectura
(trans. 1914) are the oldest surviving work on
the subject. They consist ...
• The Need for a System of Proportions
• Architects and builders have always sought
systems of proportions, and Vitruvius ...
• Here Vitruvius uses symmetrical relationships to
mean the same proportions, rather than some
kind of mirror symmetry. Su...
Vitruvian Man
circa 1487, drawn by Leonardo da Vinci
depicts a male figure in two
superimposed positions with his arms
and...
Vitruvius
• At the beginning of Book-I Vitruvius
separates the art into the realms of
practice (fabrica) and theory (ratio...
• Proportion is a correspondence among the
measures of the members of an entire work, and
of the whole to a certain part s...
Vitruvius
• The art’s three main principles are strength (firmitas),
utility (utilitas), and beauty (venustas).
• Strength...
• Leon Battista Alberti
• San Andrea, Mantua - Early Renaissance
• The first major Renaissance theorist to rival Vitruvius in
importance was Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) with
his boo...
• The new conception of architecture begins with his
description of a building as “a form of body, which like
any other co...
San Maria Novella : the facade of Santa Maria Novella completed the
exterior of a medieval church, and yet it has been rig...
• Renaissance architecture was inspired by the Classical.
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the
period betwe...
• The revival of classical antiquity can best
be illustrated by the Palazzo Ruccelai.
where the columns are classical orde...
• Alberti’s belief in an absolute numerical
scheme for beauty and proportion was
perhaps his most important contribution t...
Andrea Palladio
• Palladio's architecture and theories
embodied Renaissance architectural
thought in the second half of th...
Palazzo Thiene
Italian Renaissance
• His early commissions consisted primarily
of palaces and villas for the aristocracy,
but he began to design religious bu...
Villa Foscari
Italian Renaissance
Although influenced by a number of
Renaissance thinkers and architects,
Palladio's ideas resulted independently of
most co...
Villa Capra (Villa Rotunda)
Called the Villa Rotonda because
of its completely symmetrical plan
&central circular hall, th...
Villa Trissino
Tetra Olimpico Modeled by Palladio after both his
studies of several ancient theaters and his own
illustrat...
San Giorgio Maggiore
Gloriously situated on the island of San Giorgio, San
Giorgio Maggiore's gleaming white facade faces ...
Built as part of the Benedictine monastery on the island, the church's
facade is scaled to present a public face to the to...
Palazzo Chiericati- Late Renaissance
theory in antiquity & rennaissance
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theory in antiquity & rennaissance

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theory in antiquity & rennaissance

  1. 1. Theory in Antiquity & Rennaissance • Vitruvius • Leon Battista Alberti • Andrea Palladio
  2. 2. Vitruvius • Architectural theory in the West begins with Vitruvius. • The Ten Books on Architecture composed by this Roman architecture, engineer, and artillery officer achieve their special importance first by the breadth of the undertaking, second, and more important, by the historical fortune of being the only architectural treatise to survive from antiquity. • As such, Vitruvius has been the primary authority in architectural thinking, setting the tenor of theory in the West for much of 1800 years.
  3. 3. • His ten books on architecture, De Architectura (trans. 1914) are the oldest surviving work on the subject. They consist of dissertations on a wide variety of subjects relating to architecture, engineering, sanitation, practical hydraulics, acoustic vases, and the like. Much of the material appears to have been taken from earlier extinct treatises by Greek architects. • Vitruvius's writings have been studied ever since the Renaissance as a thesaurus of the art of classical Roman architecture. It's in Vitruvius that we first see the classical orders of architecture, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian.
  4. 4. • The Need for a System of Proportions • Architects and builders have always sought systems of proportions, and Vitruvius was no different. He wrote, "Symmetry is a proper agreement between the members of the work itself, and relation between the different parts and the whole general scheme, in accordance with a certain part selected as standard." • And later, "Therefore since nature has proportioned the human body so that its members are duly proportioned to the frame as a whole, . . . in perfect buildings the different members must be in exact symmetrical relations to the whole general scheme".
  5. 5. • Here Vitruvius uses symmetrical relationships to mean the same proportions, rather than some kind of mirror symmetry. Such a system would use the repetition of a few key ratios, to insure harmony and unity. • It would have additive properties, so the whole could equal the sum of its parts, in different combinations. This would give a pleasing design, and maintain flexibility. Finally, since builders are most comfortable with integers, it would be based on whole numbers.
  6. 6. Vitruvian Man circa 1487, drawn by Leonardo da Vinci depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or Proportions of Man. The drawing is based on the correlations of ideal human proportions described by Vitruvius, who named the human figure as the principal source of proportion for the Classical orders of architecture.
  7. 7. Vitruvius • At the beginning of Book-I Vitruvius separates the art into the realms of practice (fabrica) and theory (ratiocinato). The former is the manual activity associated with building and construction; the latter rationally demonstrates and explains conventions and proportional sytems governing design.
  8. 8. • Proportion is a correspondence among the measures of the members of an entire work, and of the whole to a certain part selected as standard. From this result the principles of symmetry. Without symmetry and proportion there can be no principles in the design of any temple; that is, if there is no precise relation between its members as in the case of those of a well shaped man. —Vitruvius,The Ten Books of Architecture (III, Ch. 1)
  9. 9. Vitruvius • The art’s three main principles are strength (firmitas), utility (utilitas), and beauty (venustas). • Strength encompasses the soundness of the foundation, the building’s structure, and the selection of materials; utility concerns the convenient planning and social suitability of the ddifice; beauty is the building’s visual charm that arises chiefly out of proportional harmony. • Beauty is further defined by six principles : order, arrangement, eurythmy, symmetry, decorum, and economy. • These principles are often subdivided into three groups whith order, eurythmy, and symmetry supplying the proportional criteria for design; arrangement dictating the correct planning and assembly of the work; decorum and economy clarifying the appropriate use of the Orders, the adaptation of the building to the site, and the correct management of materials.
  10. 10. • Leon Battista Alberti • San Andrea, Mantua - Early Renaissance
  11. 11. • The first major Renaissance theorist to rival Vitruvius in importance was Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) with his book “On the Art of Building”. • Alberti sought to improve on the Roman author’s effort to provide the Renaissance with a more coherent and logical basis for theory. Aberti’s grounding of Renaissance architecture in the imitation of nature, his emphasis on its social or cultural importance, his definition of it as a professional discipline, and the pre- eminence he placed on beauty and harmonic proportions established the theoretical focus of the next four centuries.
  12. 12. • The new conception of architecture begins with his description of a building as “a form of body, which like any other consists of lineaments and matter, the one the product of thought, the other of nature” . The intent and purpose of lineaments “lies in finding the correct, infallible way of joining and fitting together those lines and angles which define and enclose the surfaces of the building”. • “Beauty,” notes Alberti in Book IV, “is that reasoned harmony of all the parts within a body, so that nothing may be added, taken away, or altered, but for the worse”.
  13. 13. San Maria Novella : the facade of Santa Maria Novella completed the exterior of a medieval church, and yet it has been rightly described as 'great Renaissance exponent of classical eurhythmia' its dimensions are all bound to each other by the 1:2 ratio of the musical Octave. The marble panels, which produce a mosaic like effect of discrete color patches on medieval Italian church exteriors... Here contribute to a sense of rhythmic, geometric unity...“
  14. 14. • Renaissance architecture was inspired by the Classical. Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, when there was a conscious revival of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. • The Renaissance style places emphasis on symmetry, proportion, geometry and the regularity of parts as they are demonstrated in the architecture of classical antiquity and in particular ancient Roman architecture, of which many examples remained. Orderly arrangements of columns, pilasters and lintels, as well as the use of semicircular arches, hemispherical domes, niches and aedicules replaced the more complex proportional systems and irregular profiles of medieval buildings.
  15. 15. • The revival of classical antiquity can best be illustrated by the Palazzo Ruccelai. where the columns are classical orders.
  16. 16. • Alberti’s belief in an absolute numerical scheme for beauty and proportion was perhaps his most important contribution to Renaissance theory.
  17. 17. Andrea Palladio • Palladio's architecture and theories embodied Renaissance architectural thought in the second half of the sixteenth century. Although Palladio's works lack some of the grandeur of other Renaissance architects, he established a successful and lasting way of recreating ancient classicism.
  18. 18. Palazzo Thiene Italian Renaissance
  19. 19. • His early commissions consisted primarily of palaces and villas for the aristocracy, but he began to design religious buildings in the 1560s. In 1570 he published his theoretical work I Quattro Libri dell 'Architettura.. In the same year, he was appointed architectural adviser to the Venetian Republic.
  20. 20. Villa Foscari Italian Renaissance
  21. 21. Although influenced by a number of Renaissance thinkers and architects, Palladio's ideas resulted independently of most contemporary ideas. Creatively linked to the artistic traditions of Alberti and Bramante, Palladio used principles that related to art and forms that related to nature to generate his architecture.
  22. 22. Villa Capra (Villa Rotunda) Called the Villa Rotonda because of its completely symmetrical plan &central circular hall, the building is rotated 45’ to south, enabling all rooms to receive sunshine. Asymmetrically sited in the topography, with each loggia, although identical in design, relating differently to the landscape it fronts through variations of wide steps, retaining walls and embankments. The symmetrical architecture in asymmetrical relationship to the landscape intensifies the experience of the hilltop. A major classic of the Pantheonic type situated on the top of a hill outside the town of Vicenza
  23. 23. Villa Trissino Tetra Olimpico Modeled by Palladio after both his studies of several ancient theaters and his own illustrations of classical theater design, made for Daniele Barbaro's translation of Vitruvius, this is a lone surviving Renaissance theater.
  24. 24. San Giorgio Maggiore Gloriously situated on the island of San Giorgio, San Giorgio Maggiore's gleaming white facade faces across the basin of San Marco to the great piazza.
  25. 25. Built as part of the Benedictine monastery on the island, the church's facade is scaled to present a public face to the town of Venice.
  26. 26. Palazzo Chiericati- Late Renaissance

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