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.