High Renaissance Style and Civilization


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High Renaissance: Style and Civilization

Michael Levey. Publisher: Penguin Books , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:.

High Renaissance (Style and Civilization)

Synopsis High Renaissance artists, considered as the interpreters of a divinely inspired energy, and many of their creations are examined individually and collectively. Buy New Learn more about this copy. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Search for all books with this author and title.

Renaissance Architecture

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Classical architecture thus dominated the Western world for the period ca. Even today, in modern buildings stripped of traditional ornamentation, aspects of classical architecture persist e.


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Filippo Brunelleschi , the first great Renaissance architect, was primarily a designer of churches. His most famous work is the octagonal brick dome of Florence Basilica an Italian Gothic church , an engineering feat of such difficulty given the dome's unprecedented size that he also had to invent special machines to hoist each section into place. Another common type of rooftop structure is the belfry , aka bell-tower.

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This dome is not considered a Renaissance work, however; its style is firmly Gothic. H The emergence of Renaissance architecture is rather seen in Brunelleschi's designs for complete buildings , of which the Basilica of San Lorenzo Florence may be the most famous. The plain exterior of this building includes a series of blind arches , while the interior is graced with crisp grey-and-white planar classicism ; only the columns prevent this interior from being composed entirely of flat surfaces.

In many Renaissance churches, broad rectangular piers are used instead of columns, thus maximizing the surface space for planar classicism. Leon Battista Alberti became the most influential architectural theorist of the Early Renaissance with his own Ten Books on Architecture , which instructed on the adaptation of ancient classical forms to modern buildings.

The facade of the Church of Sant'Andrea Mantua mimics a triumphal arch, while the facade of the Palazzo Rucellai Florence is neatly divided into rectangular sections each containing an arched window with pilasters and cosmetic entablatures. Circular elements, like those above each window of the Palazzo, were a Renaissance favourite, with many architects of the period regarding the circle as the "perfect shape".

The High Renaissance witnessed the pinnacle of classical simplicity and harmony in Renaissance art and architecture. The central plan layout found in many Roman temples, most notably the Pantheon was popular during this period. Common shapes for central plan buildings are the circle, square, and octagon. The founder and leader of High Renaissance architecture was Donato Bramante. His greatest completed work is the Tempietto , a Doric shrine erected upon the traditional site of St Peter's martyrdom.

High Renaissance by Levey, Michael

Despite its small size, the Tempietto is often considered the crowning work of High Renaissance architecture. Bramante's greatest unrealized work is a central plan design for Saint Peter's Basilica the foremost Roman Catholic church, located in Vatican City. Following Bramante's death early in this building's construction, persistent delays led to a string of architects taking over the project and completely transforming the original design.

Had Bramante's plans been realized, St Peter's would undoubtedly be the foremost High Renaissance church. This central plan building strongly resembles Bramante's architectural style, though it cannot be attributed to him with certainty.

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The High Renaissance also gave rise to the Palazzo Farnese , arguably the greatest Renaissance palace. The sheer simplicity of the facade emphasizes variations in wall colours, window shapes, and pediment shapes. A popular decorative treatment of the palazzo was rustication , in which a masonry wall is textured rather than smooth.

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This can entail leaving grooves in the joints between smooth blocks, using roughly dressed blocks, or using blocks that have been deliberately textured. The rustication of a palazzo is often differentiated between stories. The Late Renaissance featured a general relaxation of the severe simplicity and order of the High Renaissance. The most radical strain of Late Renaissance art was mannerism : the deliberate pursuit of novelty and complexity, often to the point of bizarreness. In mannerist painting and sculpture, human anatomy is strangely elongated, and figures are placed in complex, unnatural postures.

In mannerist architecture, classical forms are skewed, exaggerated, and misplaced, and classical balance and harmony are sometimes distorted. One such artist was Andrea Palladio , who maintained a firmly classical aesthetic.


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Palladio, known primarily for villa design, was the foremost architect of the Late Renaissance, and arguably the most influential architect of all time. Countless residential, collegiate, and civic buildings throughout the world are descendants of Palladio's architectural style, which experienced a massive revival during the Neoclassical period. Palladio's most striking innovation was to graft the classical temple front onto secular architecture.

In either case the entrance can be recessed , which allows for a covered entrance even without a portico.

High Renaissance Style and Civilization High Renaissance Style and Civilization
High Renaissance Style and Civilization High Renaissance Style and Civilization
High Renaissance Style and Civilization High Renaissance Style and Civilization
High Renaissance Style and Civilization High Renaissance Style and Civilization
High Renaissance Style and Civilization High Renaissance Style and Civilization
High Renaissance Style and Civilization High Renaissance Style and Civilization
High Renaissance Style and Civilization High Renaissance Style and Civilization
High Renaissance Style and Civilization High Renaissance Style and Civilization

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