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Andrea Palladio ( 1508 - 1580 )  Category ( Architects ) [suggest a correction]
 

Andrea PalladioAndrea Palladio was an Italian Renaissance architect, considered by many to be the most influential person in the history of Western architecture. He was born Andrea di Pietro della Gondola in Padua, then part of the Republic of Venice. He was apprenticed as a stonecutter when he was thirteen, but broke the contract after only eighteen months. He fled to the nearby town of Vicenza, where he became an assistant in the leading workshop of stonecutters and masons. By the time he was in his early thirties his talents had attracted the attention of Count Gian Giorgio Trissino, who employed him on a building project. It was Trissino who gave him the name by which he is now known, Palladio, an allusion to the Greek goddess of wisdom, Pallas Athena. The Palladian style, named after him, adhered to classical Roman principles.

His architectural works have, according to D. Watkin in A History of Western Architecture, "been valued for centuries as the quintessence of High Renaissance calm and harmony." Palladio was chosen by many powerful members of Venetian society for a number of important commissions. His success and influence was a result of the integration of aesthetic quality with expressive characteristics that resonated with a given client’s social aspirations. His buildings served to visually communicate their place in the social order of their culture.

Andrea Palladio died in Maser in August of 1580 while he was in the process of beginning the construction of the Teatro Olimpico. Palladio’s influence was far-reaching. Interest in his style was renewed in later generations and became fashionable all over Europe, in parts of France and Britain. His influence reached the shores of America as well, with Thomas Jefferson borrowing from the Palladian style when he built his homes Monticello and Poplar Forest.


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