Vicenza and Palladio

Vicenza viewed from Monte Berico. The long green roofed building is the Palazzo della Ragione


The northern Italian town of Vicenza is famous for being the home of the great 16th century architect Andrea Palladio. It contains his first public commission, the "Palazzo della Ragione", as well as many other public and private buildings and you can see how his style and techniques developed during his lifetime.
Born Andrea di Piero on 8 November 1508 he trained as a stonemason before studying architecture under the patronage of Count Giangoirgio Trissino who named him "Palladio" after Pallas Athene, patron goddess of the arts. Over the next forty years he became the most influential architect of his age and his work rapidly spread across Europe to become a major root of 17th and 18th English architecture.



Palazzo della Ragione

Loggia del Capitaniato


As you walk around Vicenza you cannot escape the works and influence of Palladio


Every where you look you see more....


.....and more.....


.....and more.

Teatro Olimpico

Palladio started work on the Teatro Olimpico in 1579, his idea being to reproduce the outdoor theatres of ancient Greece and Rome, but indoors. He died the following year and the building was completed by his pupil, Vincento Scamozzi who later built a replica of this theatre at Sabbioneta. The woodwork and plaster were painted to give a stone-like appearance and the audience sit on semi-circular stone benches. Scamozzi's original scenery, a representation of the city of Thebes, uses clever perspective to give the impression that it has much more depth than it has in reality. The theatre is still in use today, and is Europes oldest surviving indoor theatre.

The wood and plaster "stonework"and, through the arches, Scamozzi's stage set

The statues are portraits of the noblemen who paid for the building. The ceiling is painted to give the illusion of being at an outdoor venue.

Villa Rotunda

Palladio's most famous building.
The simplicity of a dome on a cube.


Andrea Palladio (1508-1580)

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