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Ancient Greece and Rome

Updated October 13, 2020
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Ancient Greece and Rome essay

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As we go back to buildings of the ancient Greece and Rome, which have strongly inspired Palladio’s work in relation to proportion, we notice that most of them were temples. The ancient Greece and Rome appeared to differ from one another in some shapes of form. It is also important to understand what the buildings were built for. Ancient Greece temples have been built to protect providing a free open space for the ‘Greek deities, or The Gods.’’ In relation to that palladios believed he can improve world of architecture for the people. Some will assume that buildings are different but in fact they have something in common. It was the romans that ‘’took ancient Greek principles and build on them.’’ Looking at the ancient, Palladio and ancient Rome buildings, we can identify the similarities and if we imagine putting ancient and Rome architecture, we would get palladio. The proportion influence came mainly from the ancient Greek architecture. Palladio has been inspired by the principle of the mathematic theory for building symmetrical architecture, which was aesthetically pleasing, and it was all to the determined width the height and this has created outstanding visual effect to many. In ancient Greek architecture characteristics have been meeting for the important ‘classical orders’ which included as follows, the Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite orders. Greek architecture was divided into three period which Is very similar to the Greek sculpture, which are archaic, classical and Hellenistic. Palladio’s has been inspired by the classical orders as it provided features of modern architecture to life and a new beginning for further development showing the relation between art and mathematics.

For palladio the Doric order was inspiration to build stronger architecture buildings by replacing the previous architecture, which was found to be very simple, wood structured and turn them into stone which would provide better, long lasting sculptures. The Doric was the first beginning in classical architecture and Palladio’s believer that this will improve the architecture to become a better beauty, harmony and provide better strength meaning buildings would be safe and include improvement of the aesthetics to countries all thanks to the strong sculpture columns making buildings more practical, stable and artistic. But the Doric was still a simple structural feature, orders like ionic and Corinthian as palladio believed made it all more outstanding.

It has been announced by Stephen Bayley that Palladio’s work has been ‘’endlessly copied, but never bettered’’ and indeed he has shown many of his ideas very similar to the ancient Greece and Rome [[]]although he created a totally new design techniques that we never seen before. We should look in more depth of what the term ‘copy’ is as it’s not like he took somebody’s building and pasted into different location. Palladio’s intention was not to ‘’copy’’ but relay on something that can be improved and ways in which he done that was taking inspirations from classical design as proportion was the key element in this architectural style. It not only provided stronger sculptures which prevented from fire damage but

In 1570 the world has been introduced to important factor which influenced Palladio’s work and brought more fame into his architecture. It has been the publication of ‘’The four books of Architecture’’ (I Quattro Libri Architettura).’’[1]

The first book emphasises the importance of classical orders with studies of decorative style and, showing the materials used for buildings featuring classical orders such as Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and composite these orders have been well explained in the book their characteristics describe them effectively. Showing important features of architecture including arches, columns, bases architraves, capitals and tribulations.

Second book introduces the bridges and basilicas designs and the techniques for urban planning, its concentrating more on the private houses in town as well as the country estates and influenced mostly from the origin of Rome.

And finally, the fourth book, is based on the new constructions in relation to ancient roman temples discussing roman temples in more depth.

Figure [1] I Quattro Libri Architettura book (1570)

We question ourselves on why Palladio’s architecture was so important in relation to proportion and design?

I strongly believe that the publication of ‘’the four books architecture’’ has in fact been an expression of his design ideas and influence of the ancient Greek and Rome architecture, and it was all to embrace his strategic thinking on how to combine different elements together, many would assume that the drawings don’t specify the accuracy of architecture, lack on dimensions by lack of specifying sizes of the building but only introducing the form in his geometric shapes, the use of columns, windows and many more. And in fact, I did believe that in some extent when I looked at ‘’the four books architecture’’ page 19 with text under one of his drawing ‘’the Rotonda’’ [2] annotated with date 2001. 6. This shows that the building has been built before he actually publishes ‘the four books architecture’’ as the first book was introduced in 1570. Which leaves us questioning did he actually draw with no relation to design factors or did he just polish what he already created? Making us question of what the original look like or was there even an original drawing.

This question doesn’t leave us hanging for too long in fact it brings us to another important factors in relation to Palladio’s architecture. Palladio has also use classical techniques this time according to (logic) orders, he has measured buildings to create

Villa capara ‘rotunda’

Villa rotunda is one of the most popular Palladio’s architectural buildings which is located in northern Italy designed by Andrea palladio well known for its proportion and well-established design techniques. The building introduces great symmetry by its square plan followed by the four facades [1]. The importance of proportion in this building has been presented with mathematic accuracy in relation to Palladio’s rules in the ‘’Quattro Libri dell\’Architettura’’ [1]. This architecture shows proportion by the use of six ionic columns. The building has strong inspiration by the Rome, pantheon (roman temple). Palladio’s used this design techniques connecting with its surroundings. Rotunda has great sense of harmony in connection to the landscape.

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