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Baldassare Peruzzi


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Italian uomo universale of the High Renaissance, influenced by Bramante and Raphael. His first great building was the Palazzo della Farnesina, Rome (1505–11), an exquisite house (sometimes referred to as a villa) with frescoes by Ugo da Carpi (d. 1532), Peruzzi himself, Raphael, Giulio Romano, and Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (1477–1549—known as Il Sodoma (the Sodomite). Essentially a square on plan, it has a loggia between two projecting wings on the garden-front. In 1520 he was appointed Architect (with Sangallo) at St Peter's, but fled the city after the Sack of Rome (1527), settling in Siena, where until 1532 he was engaged on strengthening the fortifications, and remodelled the Church of San Domenico (1531–3). From 1531 he was again working at St Peter's, Rome, and was appointed Architect to the basilica in 1534. The Palazzo Massimi alle Colonne, Rome (1532–7), however, is reckoned to be his masterpiece: an ingeniously planned building on a difficult site, it has a curved façade to the street with Tuscan columns and pilasters on the ground-floor arranged in pairs. The whole front is rusticated, and the piano nobile is separated from the ground-floor by an entablature. Above the piano nobile are two rows of small windows—the lower has architraves with elaborate frames, the patterns of which were to be developed as strapwork by Serlio and disseminated through his publications all over Europe. The courts which are arranged to be similar to Roman atria are on two different axes. Certain details of this palazzo (such as the frames of the second-floor windows and the freedom with which the Orders are used) suggest proto-Mannerism.

R. Adams (1980);M. Fagiolo & Madonna (eds.) (1987);C. Frommel (1973);Heydenreich (1996);Lotz (1977);Placzek (ed.) (1982);Jane Turner (1996);Tessari (1995);Wurm (ed.) (from 1984)

Peruzzi. Palazzo Massimi allle Colonne, Rome, 1532. A highly ingenious plan on a difficult site, with internal court yards. Note how the axes are set up on two separate entrances, one for each place: on the left is the Palazzo Angelo Massimi, and on the right is that of Pietro Massimi.

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