Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Donato Bramante

Donato Bramante was an Italian architect who is well known for his work on St. Peter’s Basilica. He began as an artist, who was fascinated by the rules of perspectives, but soon realized his architectural skills surpassed his artistic abilities.  In 1474 Bramante moved to Milan, were he would go on to build several churches following the Gothic style that the city was known for. In 1476 the duke, Sforza, made Bramante his court architect.

During which time Bramante was in charge of rebuilding the church of Santa Maria Presso San Satiro. In this project his knowledge of the rules of perspectives plays a huge role in the theatrical apse. Also in Milan Bramante built structures of Santa Maria della Grazie, Cloisters of Sant’Ambrogio, and Palazzo Caprini.

In 1499 the French army invaded Milan, Bramante fled to Rome. Once in Rome his talents were soon recognized by Cardinal Della Rovere, who would soon become Pope Julius II.  One of his first works in Rome was the design of the cloister in Santa Maria della Pace which is near Piazza Navona. The proportions of the cloister simplistic yet spectacular. The columns alter with smaller columns that were placed centered between the the lower arches.

He would then design the Tempietto of San Pietro in Montoria in 1502 for Julius II, which is considered “one of the most harmonious buildings of the renaissance.” It is described as a piece of sculpture due to the fact that is does not have the usual architectural language that is usually found in architecture so far. The building took a classical style but conformed it to more modern times.
In 1503 Pope Julius nominated Bramante to rebuild the Saint Peter’s Basilica. Bramante wanted a centralized Greek cross plan, which he considered perfection. Although his full plan was never recognized due to the fact that he died (1514) before it’s completion. His original plan included four chapels which would fill the corner voids which the transepts created. Each one would be topped with a dome which would be supporting the main dome.


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