Renaissance architecture

Tempietto di San Pietro in Montorio, Rome, 1502, by Bramante. This small temple marks the place where St Peter was put to death.
Temple of Vesta, Rome, 205 AD. As one of the most important temples of Ancient Rome,[1] it became the model for Bramante's Tempietto.

Renaissance architecture is the European architecture of the period between the early 14th and early 16th centuries in different regions, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance architecture followed Gothic architecture and was succeeded by Baroque architecture. Developed first in Florence, with Filippo Brunelleschi as one of its innovators, the Renaissance style quickly spread to other Italian cities. The style was carried to France, Germany, England, Russia and other parts of Europe at different dates and with varying degrees of impact.

Renaissance style places emphasis on symmetry, proportion, geometry and the regularity of parts, as they are demonstrated in the architecture of classical antiquity and in particular ancient Roman architecture, of which many examples remained. Orderly arrangements of columns, pilasters and lintels, as well as the use of semicircular arches, hemispherical domes, niches and aedicula replaced the more complex proportional systems and irregular profiles of medieval buildings.


The word "Renaissance" derives from the term rinascita, which means rebirth, first appeared in Giorgio Vasari's Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori e architettori (Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, 1550).

Although the term Renaissance was used first by the French historian Jules Michelet, it was given its more lasting definition from the Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt, whose book Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien, 1860 (The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, 1860, English translation, by SGC Middlemore, in 2 vols., London, 1878) was influential in the development of the modern interpretation of the Italian Renaissance. The folio of measured drawings Édifices de Rome moderne; ou, Recueil des palais, maisons, églises, couvents et autres monuments (The Buildings of Modern Rome), first published in 1840 by Paul Letarouilly, also played an important part in the revival of interest in this period. Erwin Panofsky, Renaissance and Renascences in Western Art, (New York: Harper and Row, 1960) The Renaissance style was recognized by contemporaries in the term "all'antica", or "in the ancient manner" (of the Romans).