Andrea Palladio (1508-1580)

Son of the miller Pietro della Gondola and of Marta named "la zota", Andrea was born in Padova in 1508. In the "Saint's city" he completes his first experiences as chiseler in the shop of Bartholomeo Cavazza from Sossano, which seems to set him particularly hard conditions. In 1524, in fact, after a first failed attempt, he arrives in Vicenza: here he enters the shop of Pedemuro San Biagio, holding by Giovanni of Giacomo from Porlezza and Girolamo Pittoni from Lumignano, in those years very famous sculptors in Vicenza. Among 1535 and 1538 there is the opportunity that will change radically his life: while he works in the building site of the suburban villa Cricoli he knows Giangiorgio Trissino, poet and humanist, that will assume him under his patronage. It was Trissino to nickname him Palladio, to guide him in his cultural formation based on the study of the ancient times, to conduct him, finally, in Rome. Here Andrea, for the first time, feels in contact with the architectures that had learned to love, he could directly examine the imperial monuments, looking at the beauty and studiing the materials, the constructive techniques, the spatial relations. With his patron Palladio meets the "big" of these years: Michelangelo, Sebastiano Serlio, Giulio Romano, Bramante. In 1540 begins his autonomous activity of architect, with artworks as the Civena Palace near Furo Bridge (Vicenza) and the Godi villa in Lonedo; in 1549 is situated the event that consecrate him definitely: the rebuilding of the loggias of the Basilica of Vicenza in substitution of those of '400. The Palladio's project won upon an hard competition (were involved Serlio, Sansovino, Sanmicheli, Giulio Romano). Since then the noble families of Vicenza and Venezia disputed Palladio’s activity. It’s the most intense period of his activity ,with masterpieces of absolute beauty: Chiericati palace, villa Barbaro in Maser, the "Malcontenta" in Mira, Venetian churches of Redentore and of S. Giorgio Maggiore, up to the well known Rotonda. In 1570, furthermore, Palladio publishes the treaty “The four books of the architecture”, expression of his culture, of his ideal and also of the his concrete experience. In the '70 he is in Venice as "proto," that is architectural advisor, of the Serenissima. Among February and March of 1580 started the works for the the Olimpico theater, built over demand of the Olimpici Academicians (the same Andrea,in 1556, had been associate founder) for the recitation of the classical tragedy. Nevertheless, before the theater has been completed Palladio died 19 August 1580.



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