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Andrea Palladio (Andrea di Pietro della Gondola)

Renaissance Architect


Andrea Palladio

Andrea Palladio

Image: ArtToday.com Basilica by Palladio in Vicenza, Italy

Basilica by Palladio in Vicenza, Italy

Image: ArtToday.com Il Redentore, the Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore

Il Redentore, the Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore (Church of the Most Holy Redeemer) by Andrea Palladio

Photo (cc) Flickr Member Michael Scaduto

Born in Renaissance Italy, Andrea Palladio transformed architecture in the Western world.


November 30, 1508 in Padua, Italy


August 19, 1580 in Vicenza, Italy

Full Name:

Born Andrea Di Pietro della Gondola. Later named Palladio after the Greek goddess of wisdom. The new name was given to Palladio by an employer, the scholar Trissino.

Palladio's Early Training:

  • Apprenticed to a stonecutter when he was 13 years old
  • Became an assistant in a masonry workshop in Vicenza
  • Learned the principles of classical architecture when he worked on new additions for a villa owned by Gian Giorgio Trissino, a leading scholar of the time

Important Buildings by Palladio:

By the 1540s, Palladio was using classical principles to design a series of country villas and urban palaces for the nobility of Vicenza. One of his most famous is Villa Capra, also known as the Rotunda, which was modeled after the Roman Pantheon. Palladio also designed the Basilica in Vicenza and  Villa Foscari (or La Malcontenta) near Venice. In the 1560s he began work on religious buildings in Venice. The great basilica San Giorgio Maggiore is one of Palladio's most elaborate works.

Writings by Palladio:

Using the new technology of movable type, Palladio published a guide to the classical ruins of Rome. In 1570, he published his masterwork: I Quattro Libri dell' Architettura, or The Four Books of Architecture (Compare Prices). This important book outlined Palladio's architectural principles and provided practical advice for builders. Detailed woodcut images of Palladio's drawings illustrate the work.

Recommended Reading:

About Andrea Palladio:

Andrea Palladio is often described as the most influential and most copied architect in the Western world. Drawing inspiration from classical architecture, Palladio created carefully proportioned, pedimented buildings that became models for stately homes and government buildings in Europe and America. One of many architectural features inspired by Palladio is the popular Palladian window.

Palladio's Four Books of Architecture was widely translated, and Palladio's ideas spread across Europe and into the New World. American statesman Thomas Jefferson borrowed Palladian ideas when he designed Monticello, his home in Virginia.

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