Renaissance architecture essay

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One of the first buildings to use pilasters as an integrated system was the Old Sacristy — by Brunelleschi. The dome is used frequently in this period, both as a very large structural feature that is visible from the exterior, and also as a means of roofing smaller spaces where they are only visible internally. Domes were used in important structures such as the Pantheon during antiquity, but had been used only rarely in the Middle Ages. Dome of St. Windows may be paired and set within a semicircular arch and may have square lintels and triangular or segmental pediments, which are often used alternately.

Emblematic in this respect is the Palazzo Farnese in Rome, begun in Windows were used to bring light into the building and in domestic architecture, to show the view. Stained glass, although sometimes present, was not a prevalent feature in Renaissance windows.

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Finally, external Renaissance walls were generally of highly finished ashlar masonry, laid in straight courses. The corners of buildings were often emphasized by rusticated quoins. Basements and ground floors were sometimes rusticated, as modeled on the Palazzo Medici Riccardi — in Florence. Internal walls were smoothly plastered and surfaced with white chalk paint. For more formal spaces, internal surfaces were typically decorated with frescoes. Renaissance architecture first developed in Florence in the 15th century and represented a conscious revival of classical styles.

The Quattrocento , or the 15th century in Florence, was marked by the development of the Renaissance style of architecture, which represented a conscious revival and development of ancient Greek and Roman architectural elements. The rules of Renaissance architecture were first formulated and put into practice in 15th century Florence, whose buildings subsequently served as an inspiration to architects throughout Italy and Western Europe.

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The Renaissance style of architecture emerged in Florence not as a slow evolution from preceding styles, but rather as a conscious development put into motion by architects seeking to revive a golden age. These architects were sponsored by wealthy patrons including the powerful Medici family and the Silk Guild , and approached their craft from an organized and scholarly perspective that coincided with a general revival of classical learning.

The Renaissance style deliberately eschewed the complex proportional systems and irregular profiles of Gothic structures. Instead, Renaissance architects placed emphasis on symmetry, proportion, geometry, and regularity of parts as demonstrated in classical Roman architecture. They also made considerable use of classical antique features such as orderly arrangements of columns, pilasters, lintels, semicircular arches, and hemispherical domes.

The person generally credited with originating the Renaissance style of architecture is Filippo Brunelleschi — , whose first major commission—the enormous brick dome that covers the central space of the Florence Cathedral—was also perhaps architecturally the most significant.

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Known as the Duomo, the dome was engineered by Brunelleschi to cover a spanning in the already existing Cathedral. The dome retains the Gothic pointed arch and the Gothic ribs in its design. The dome is structurally influenced by the great domes of Ancient Rome such as the Pantheon , and it is often described as the first building of the Renaissance. The dome is made of red brick and was ingeniously constructed without supports, using a deep understanding of the laws of physics and mathematics.

It remains the largest masonry dome in the world and was such an unprecedented success at its time that the dome became an indispensable element in church and even secular architecture thereafter. Duomo of Florence : The Florence Cathedral is the first example of a true dome in Renaissance architecture.

Another key figure in the development of Renaissance architecture in Florence was Leon Battista Alberti — , an important Humanist theoretician and designer, whose book on architecture De re aedificatoria was the first architectural treatise of the Renaissance. The Palazzo Rucellai, a palatial townhouse built —51, typified the newly developing features of Renaissance architecture, including a classical ordering of columns over three levels and the use of pilasters and entablatures in proportional relationship to each other.

The facade of Santa Maria Novella —70 also showed similar Renaissance innovations based on classical Roman architecture. Alberti attempted to bring the ideals of humanist architecture and proportion to the already existing structure while creating harmony with the existing medieval facade. His contributions included a classically inspired frieze decorated with squares, four white-green pilasters, and a round window crowned by a pediment with the Dominican solar emblem and flanked on both sides by S-shaped scrolls.

While the pediment and the frieze were inspired by classical architecture, the scrolls were new and without precedent in antiquity, and ended up becoming a very popular architectural feature in churches all over Italy. The buildings of the early Renaissance in Florence expressed a new sense of light, clarity, and spaciousness that reflected the enlightenment and clarity of mind glorified by the philosophy of Humanism.


Rome, the second Renaissance capital after Florence, was one of the most important architectural and cultural centers during this period. Roman Renaissance architects derived their main designs and inspirations from classical models. The style of Roman Renaissance architecture does not greatly differ from what may be observed in Florence Renaissance architecture. However, patrons in Rome tended to be important officials of the Catholic Church, and buildings are generally religious or palatial in function.

Donato Bramante — was a key figure in Roman architecture during the High Renaissance. Bramante was born in Urbino and first came to prominence as an architect in Milan before traveling to Rome. In Rome, Bramante was commissioned by Ferdinand and Isabella to design the Tempietto, a temple that marks what was believed to be the exact spot where Saint Peter was martyred.

The temple is circular, similar to early Christian martyriums, and much of the design is inspired by the remains of the ancient Temple Vesta. The Tempietto is considered by many scholars to be the premier example of High Renaissance architecture. With its perfect proportions, harmony of parts, and direct references to ancient architecture, the Tempietto embodies the Renaissance. The Tempietto, c.

Its building history involved some of the most prominent Italian architects of the 16th century, including Michelangelo, Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, and Giacomo della Porta.

Renaissance architecture

Michelangelo revised the central window in , adding an architrave to give a central focus to the facade, above which is the largest papal stemma, or coat-of-arms with papal tiara, Rome had ever seen. The Palazzo Farnese courtyard, initially open arcades , is ringed by classically inspired columns characteristic of Italian Renaissance architecture , in ascending orders Doric, Corinthian, and Ionic. The piano nobile entablature was given a frieze with garlands, added by Michelangelo. On the garden side of the palace, which faced the River Tiber, Michelangelo proposed the innovatory design of a bridge which, if completed, would have linked the palace with the gardens of the Vigna Farnese.

While the practicalities of achieving this bridge remained dubious, the idea was a bold and expansive one. During the 16th century, two large granite basins from the Baths of Caracalla were adapted as fountains in the Piazza Farnese, the urban face of the palace. Following the death of Cardinal Odoardo Farnese in , the palazzo stood virtually uninhabited for 20 years.

In the Veneto, the Renaissance ushered in a new era of architecture after a Gothic phase, which drew on classical Roman and Greek motifs. Describe the style of Venetian architecture during the Renaissance, and of Palladio in particular.

Review Of Renaissance Architecture Essay

Conversely, there was no call for enormous sporting fixtures and public bath houses such as the Romans had built. The ancient orders were analysed and reconstructed to serve new purposes.

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The plans of Renaissance buildings have a square, symmetrical appearance in which proportions are usually based on a module. Within a church, the module is often the width of an aisle. The first building to demonstrate this was St. Andrea in Mantua by Alberti. The development of the plan in secular architecture was to take place in the 16th century and culminated with the work of Palladio.

The columns and windows show a progression towards the centre. Domestic buildings are often surmounted by a cornice. There is a regular repetition of openings on each floor, and the centrally placed door is marked by a feature such as a balcony, or rusticated surround.

The orders can either be structural, supporting an arcade or architrave, or purely decorative, set against a wall in the form of pilasters.

Review of Renaissance Architecture Styles

During the Renaissance, architects aimed to use columns, pilasters, and entablatures as an integrated system. One of the first buildings to use pilasters as an integrated system was in the Old Sacristy — by Brunelleschi. Arches are semi-circular or in the Mannerist style segmental. Arches are often used in arcades, supported on piers or columns with capitals.

There may be a section of entablature between the capital and the springing of the arch. Alberti was one of the first to use the arch on a monumental scale at the St.

renaissance architecture essay Renaissance architecture essay
renaissance architecture essay Renaissance architecture essay
renaissance architecture essay Renaissance architecture essay
renaissance architecture essay Renaissance architecture essay
renaissance architecture essay Renaissance architecture essay
renaissance architecture essay Renaissance architecture essay
renaissance architecture essay Renaissance architecture essay
renaissance architecture essay Renaissance architecture essay
Renaissance architecture essay

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