Italian Renaissance Architecture

And we are off…… the Renaissance! We are first going to start off with Italian Architecture then in the upcoming blogs discuss French and English Renaissance. Italian Renaissance architecture focuses mainly on harmonious proportions and classical elements. What does that mean? Well the best way for me to learn about a new subject is to write down bullet points. The points may read off as dull but in the long run are helpful to me and hopefully to my readers.

Here are some key points to help us figure this out:
1. the most important building types include churches and public structures
2. buildings stand in self-contained isolation with little to their surroundings
3. they began building piazzas also known as public squares surrounded by buildings
4. typical floor plans for churches form the shape of a Latin cross
5. they use carefully articulated square modules for floor plans and they love to play around with the facades of their public buildings
6. materials: stone or brick for both private and public use
7. they do not introduce any new form of construction so kind of steal the arch system
8. they absolutely adore classical imagery, details, and organization
9. windows and doors are arched or rectangular
10. roofs are gabled and/or domed
11. a new building type is called the palazzo or the urban palace
12. palace floor plans are rectangular/square and focus inward to a central cortile (courtyard)

Remember this: front top to bottom: you have a dome, pediment, plain facade, roman ionic capital, portico, pedimented window, temple front, pedestal, and steps on center axis.

But one of the best ways to understand architecture of a time period for me is to look at photos! Below you will see Ospedale degli Innocenti (Foundlings’ Hospital), Saint Maria del Fiore (Florence Cathedral), Saint Maria Novella, Palazzo della Ragione, Villa Rotunda , and the Vatican Library.

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