Andrea Palladio @500


Andrea Palladio (November 30, 1508August 19, 1580), was an Italian architect. The Palladian style, named after him, adhered to Roman architecture principles and a search for classical perfection. The Palladian villa format was easily adapted for a democratic worldview, as can be seen in Thomas Jefferson‘s commissioned buildings. Palladian motifs made a comeback during the postmodern era, the American architect Philip Johnson frequently used them in his doorways.

7 thoughts on “Andrea Palladio @500

  1. lichanos

    Not sure what buildings Jefferson commissioned – he designed his own house and the University of Virginia, both heavily Palladian.

    One could argue that the Greek Revival of the early 19th century was more aligned with democratic values while the Palladian style was the fad of the nouveau riche faux democrats like T.J. (Some of us Yanks don’t much like Jefferson…) The style of the rich, conservative, country squires who hate the hub hub of the immigrant city, etc. etc.

    Also, as I’m sure you know, Ruskin deplored the Palladian revival as a “decadence,” a falling away from medieval perfection. He saw it as the rise of a superficial style as opposed to an organic one that was rooted in real community – democratic?-values. And of course, anything Roman reeks of Empire…

    The ebb and flow of architectural styles, and the uses and interpretations to which they are made to bend is fascinating.

  2. jahsonic

    he designed his own house and the University of Virginia,

    I wasn’t sure he had not designed more.

    nouveau riche faux democrats

    I was going by a Wikipedia quote, thanks for your clarifications.

    Ruskin deplored the Palladian revival

    I did not know.

    The ebb and flow of architectural styles

    it’s all genre and fashion, the whole history of aesthetics, although I like to think that some people really were sui generis.

  3. lichanos

    “…thanks for your clarifications…”

    Hey, don’t take MY word for it! There are still lots of TJ worshipers in the USA – he’s on Mt. Rushmore, after all!!

  4. Man of Roma

    I have been to the Palladio exhibition in Vicenza, Italy (January 2008). It has been very interesting. It is to be moved to London in a few days. I learned a lot thanks to this exhibition, a co-work of Italians and Britons. I might write a post soon on this.

    Needless to say, I don’t agree with Ruskin, being Man of Roma 😉

  5. jahsonic

    Hi Man from Roma

    Thanks for your comment. I just checked your blog and liked what I saw. Very enigmatic, loved the piece on the Latin lover (a theme I am very much interested in is ethnic stereotypes).

    Welcome to the blog. Hope to see you again.


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