Palladio at the National Building Museum

Andrea Palladio was a worthy architect but, please, there were others. So many exhibitions that focus on the American expression of European antecedents take those antecedents as almost God given, as if by divine providence we were blessed to fall under this particular influence rather than any other. Palladio falls into that category. Or as I put in my Washington Post piece today:

History, of course, might have taken a different path. Reading Palladio’s predecessor, Sebastiano Serlio, is a lot more fun and gives you a much better and richer sense of the architectural possibilities of the Renaissance. And architecture before and after Palladio had a grace (in the works of Brunelleschi and Bramante) and whimsy (the splendors of the baroque) that is kept muted in the anal-retentive purity of Palladio’s style.

No matter. The English, and eventually the Americans, were besotted with Palladio and now we live in his world.

Make no mistake, though. I do love Palladio. Just not as much as I’m told I should.

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3 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Security

3 responses to “Palladio at the National Building Museum

  1. Pingback: Weekend roundup | Tyler Green: Modern Art Notes | ARTINFO.com

  2. Thayer-D

    You sound like a tortured soul. I have never heard of anyone so put upon by something so inoquous as an Italian Renaissance architect. I know it’s hard for some critics to understand that some architects strive for beauty, for something as simple as to be loved for the beauty they’ve created, as they love the world for the beauty it bestowes upon them. Reading culture postumously can and does give us all the cultural footing to navigate our shared experiences, but producing beauty unencoumbered by the meaning of every line and curve is a thrill critics find hard to imagine. Keep up the good work but please try to open your mind beyond the stereotype of architect as avant guard crusader. Not every kid wanted to shock people.

  3. Andres Duany

    The Four Books of Palladio was actually a self-published office brochure mistaken by the English and their provincial Americans for an architectural treatise.
    Compare with Venturi’s Complexcity and Contradiction: both display a great deal of ponderous or iesoteric knowledge about a high sources and then both are illustrated at the conclusion by. . . achitectural works of the
    author.

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