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system used by Vauban and his school, who, for a long period, deprived him of the credit of it. Before him all the ramparts of a fortification were round or square. He introduced a new method, inventing the triangular and pentangular bastion, with plain fossés, flanks, and square bases, which doubled the support; he moreover not only flanked the curtain, but all the fossé to the next bastion, the covered way, and glacis. The mystery of this art consisted in defending every part of the inclosure by the flank of a bastion; hence, making it round or square, the front of it, that is, the space which remains in the triangle, which was before undefended, was by San Micheli provided against. We cannot, however, further proceed on this subject, which belongs to military, which at that period was intimately connected with civil architecture. The Porta del Pallio at Verona has been mentioned; that city, however, contains another gate of great architectural merit by this master, the Porta Nuova, a square edifice, supported within by a number of piers of stone, with enclosures or apartments for the guards, artillery, &c. The proportions, as a whole, are pleasing; it is of the Doric order, devoid of all extraneous ornament, solid, strong, and suitable to the purposes of the building. Except in the middle gate and the architectural parts, the work is rusticated. The exterior façade stands on a wall, with two large pyramidal pilasters of marble rising from the bottom of the fosse; at the top are two round enclosures approaching almost to towers. In the interior, to the two gates near the angles are two corresponding long passages, vaulted, leading to a number of subterraneous galleries and rooms. For beauty, however, we do not think this gate so beautiful as that of del Pallio, which we here give (fig. 172.). But the gem of this great master is the little circular
chapel at San Bernardino, whose beauty, we think, has scarcely ever been surpassed, and which exhibits, in a striking degree, the early perfection of the Venetian school. It was not finished under San Micheli, and blemishes are to be found in it; it is nevertheless an exquisite production, and, in a surprisingly small space, exhibits a refinement which elsewhere we scarcely know equalled. The works which he designed surpass, we believe, in number those of all the masters of Italy, Palladio, perhaps, excepted. He gave a tone to his art in the Venetian states, which endured for a considerable period. His death occurred in 1549. 351. Contemporary with San Micheli, was another extraordinary genius of this school, born at Florence,—Jacopo Tatti by name, but more usually called Sansovino, from the country of his master, Andrea Contucci di Monte Sansovino. Such was the respect for this artist in Venice, his adopted city, that at a moment when it became necessary to raise by means of taxation a large sum on the citizens, the senate made a special exemption in favour of him and Titian. The Roman school might lay claim to him, if the works he executed at Rome, and not his style, would justify it; but that is so marked, so tinctured with the system of arcades with orders, its distinguishing feature, that an inspection of his works will immediately satisfy even a superficial observer. He was a great master of his art; and though he does not in so great a degree appear to have profited by the examples of antiquity as the architect last named, he has left behind buildings, which, for picturesque effect, leave him little inferior in our rating. He was the architect of the library of St. Mark at Venice, a portion whereof is given in fig. 173. ; a building of noble design, notwithstanding the improprieties with which it is replete. It consists of two orders; the lower one of highly ornamented Doric, and the upper one Ionic and very graceful in effect. Of both these orders, as will be seen in the figure, the entablatures are of inordinate comparative height. The upper one was expressly so set out for the purpose of exhibiting the beautiful sculptures with which it is decorated. The cornice is crowned with a balustrade, on whose piers statues were placed by the ablest scholars of Sansovino. A portico occupies the ground floor, which is raised three steps from the level of the piazza. This portico consists of twenty-one arcades, whose piers are decorated with columns. In the interior are arches corresponding to the external ones, sixteen whereof, with their internal apartments, are appropriated for shops. Opposite the centre arch is a magnificent staircase leading to the hall, o which is the library of St. Mark. The o
faults of this building, which are
2. - very many, are lost in its grace | and elegance, and it is perhaps | - the chef d'oeuvre of the master.
Whilst Sansovino was engaged
on it he propounded an architectural problem, which reminds us very much of the egg of Columbus: “How can the exact half of a metope be so contrived as to stand on the external angle of the Doric frieze 2." The solution, clumsy as that of the navigator with his egg, practised in this building, is, however, a bungling absurdity ; namely, that of lengthening the frieze just so much as is necessary to make out the deficiency. Sansovino was invited to pass into France, where he gave some designs, which tended to the advancement of the art in that country. On his return he built the Zecca, or mint, one of his finest works. Another of his extraordinary productions is the palace of the Comari, on the e- Grand Canal at San Maurizio. Fig. 173. -n-a- or st------ The church of San Fantino, among the finest of Venice, is also by him; as is that of San Martino and many others. Jacopo was fertile in invention: his architecture was full of grace and elegance; but he was deficient in a thorough knowledge of construction, which, in the library of St. Mark, brought him into disgrace, of which, from all accounts, the builders ought to have suffered the principal share. He continually introduced the orders, and especially the Doric and Composite. The members of his entablatures were much sculptured; but his ornaments were extremely suitable and correct. In statues and bassi relievi he greatly indulged, thereby adding considerably to the effect and majesty of his buildings. Scamozzi mentions a work by him on the construction of floors, and particularly describes a method adopted by him for preventing dust falling through the joints of the boards. The work has been lost. Sansovino died in 1570. 352. After such artists as San Micheli and Sansovino, it would have seemed to an ordinary mind difficult to have invented new forms, or rather so to have modified the old ones as to be original. Andrea Palladio, however, not only knew how to be original, but to leave his works as models for the countries of Europe, in which the style which bears his name has had no rival; so true is it, in all the arts, that there is always room to be found for a man on whom nature has bestowed the faculty of seeing, feeling, and thinking for himself. In the case of the architect something more than genius is necessary: it is requisite that circumstances should exist by which his art may be developed, or, in other words, that what he is capable of producing may at the time be suitable to the wants of society. Such circumstances existed for a long period in Italy, where, up to the time at which we are arrived, the rich and great had been contending with the governments which should be the greatest patrons of the art. Hence sprung the multitude of extraordinary works in the country named, which still point out the greatness in art at which it had arrived, when it was one of the really necessary arts. Neither in the Venetian states, nor at the time when he rose into reputation, which was about the middle of the sixteenth century, had Palladio that opportunity of signalising himself which had occurred to many former masters. Venice had risen into power and wealth by its arms and commerce; was the natural protectrix of the art; and although the works she required were not on scales of the grandest dimensions, yet those which her citizens required kept pace in luxury with the increasing wealth of the families by whom they were required. This was the career open to the genius of Palladio. Architecture in these states was not called upon to furnish churches of colossal dimensions, nor palaces for sovereigns, nor immense public monuments left for posterity to finish. The political state of the country, very luckily for his talents, furnished a numerous class of citizens who contended which should procure for himself the aid of this great man in rearing a villa or palace, and which might serve the double purpose of a present dwelling for, and a future memorial of his family,– a passion that covered the banks of the Brenta with edifices which, of their class, form a complete school of civil architecture. 353. The taste of Palladio was tempered by the care he bestowed on accommodating exterior beauty to interior convenience, and by suiting the art to the wants of persons with moderate means, through the medium of greatness without great dimensions, and richness of effect without great outlay. In the imitation, or rather appropriation, of the architecture of the ancients, none of his predecessors of any of the schools had so luckily hit on that just medium of exactness without pedantry, of severity without harshness, of liberty without licentiousness, which have since made the architecture of ancient Greece popular, and so modified it as to be practicable and convenient in all countries. We here speak, of course, of the elements, and not the combinations, of Greek art, and of it changed by a passage through an intermediate state during the existence of the Roman empire. No architect can consider himself thoroughly educated who has not studied the works of Palladio. “ De fait,” says De Quincy, in his Life of this architect, “il n'est point d'architecte qui, après avoir formé ou réformé son style sur les grands modèles de l'art des anciens, et despremiers maitres de l'Italie moderne, ne se croie pas obligé d'aller encore 6tudier dans la patrie et les ceuvres de Palladio, un genre d'applications plus usuelles, et plus en rapport avec l'état de nos moeurs; c'est-a-dire, le secret d'accommoder tour-à-tour, et nos besoins aux plaisirs d'une belle architecture, et l'agrément de celle-ci aux sujétions que de nouveaux besoins lui imposent.” It was from the peculiar properties of Palladio's taste and style, suited as they are to more moderate fortunes, that they found in England a second native country (if such an expression may be allowed), where Inigo Jones, Wren, Gibbs, Taylor, Chambers, and many others, have naturalised the plans, façades, distribution, and details which were originally planted in the provinces of the Venetian republic. Indeed, the style of Palladio could not be prevented from spreading through Europe, as being a mean between the severe use of ancient forms and the licentious style of those who reject all rules whatever. The buildings by him exhibit great good sense, simple means of accomplishing the end, a satisfactory agreement between the demands of necessity and pleasure, and such an harmony between them that it is hard to determine which has submitted to the other. The interior distribution of his palaces and villas in respect of plan would, without considerable modification, be but ill suited to modern habits. We give, in fig. 174. (see nert page), a plan and elevation of the Villa Capra, one of his most celebrated works of that class. Convenience changes as the mode of life varies; indeed, except in a private building of large extent, the large quadrangular court of the houses of Italy is here unknown. Palladio's plans, however, were convenient to those for whom they were executed; and in that way they must be judged. With his eyes constantly turned to the practice and detail of the ancients, he acquired a bold, simple, and agreeable style; and, his churches excepted, the beauties of the master are to be sought in his façades, and the quadrangles of his palaces. Pedestals, either with panels or raisings, were always avoided by him; his architraves were rarely sculptured; and the upper ornaments of his entablatures were always carefully centred above each other. His doors, windows, and niches are composed with great simplicity; and pediments, when used, are unbroken. In the members of his cornices he never lost sight of the character of the order employed, and was extremely particular in duly adjusting its profiles. He, however, did not scruple to vary the proportions of an order according to the nature of the building to which it was applied; and in the proportions of his churches and apartments he seems to have delighted, as afterwards did Sir Christopher Wren, in arithmetical, geometrical, and harmonic proportions. Though extremely partial to the use of the Ionic order, yet the others were not unfrequently used by him. His Corinthian capital is not to be praised; it is profiled very clumsily, and ought not to be followed. The domes which he erected are almost invariably hemispherical. It is not to be supposed that his buildings are perfect, though they approach perfection; but it is more than probable that many of the abuses we see in them arose either from want of sufficient superintendence, the number he designed being very great, or that they were introduced after his death. This, we think, may be safely assumed, because the instructions in his work on architecture are very peremptory on the subject of abuses. So well based upon the practice of the ancients does the style of our master appear to be, that it is, with but few modifications, suited to all nations, and just such as the ancients themselves would have adopted. “Les fermes,” observes Le Grand in his parallele, “que dirigeait Palladio et qu'il couvrait de tuiles on d'un chaume rustique, l'emportent de beaucoup sur les palais somptueux de Borromini, ou sur les riches et bizarres productions de Guarino Guarini.” Certain, indeed, it is that simplicity, unity, and style are more powerful means of producing grandeur, than great volume or large masses unskilfully handled. A fine instance of this is seen in the façade of the Thiene palace at Vicenza, fig. 175. (See nert page.) 354. The number of palaces and villas with which Palladio enriched the Venetian and Vicentine territories is almost incredible: the variety of plan and elevation in them seems as inexhaustible as their number. To the buildings above referred to may be added the
Carità at Venice, which is a lovely specimen of his style. His grandest church is that Del Redentore at Venice. Generally in the façades of his churches there are abuses, whereof it is scarcely credible he would have been guilty: such are the two half pediments in the church we have just mentioned. The theatre built upon the ancient model for the Olympic Academy at Vicenza gained great reputation for him. Palladio died in 1580.
355. The last architect of the Venetian school who obtained celebrity was Vincenzo Scamozzi. The son of an architect, and born in a country which had become the nursery of the art, his powers were exhibited at an early age. Like Palladio and other great masters, he selected for his principal guides the antiquities of the Eternal City, and the precepts of Vitruvius, whose work at that period was considered of high importance, as in truth it really was. There is no doubt that Scamozzi was much indebted to the works of Palladio, although he affected occasionally to decry them; but, in opposition to De Quincy, we think that his style is more founded on that of San Micheli or Sansovino. This is, however, of little importance; for his natural talents were of a very high order. At a very early period of his career, so great was his reputation that he was employed by the canons of San Salvadore in opening the lantern to the cupola of their church; a task in which it appears that he acquitted himself with great ability. For the upper order of the Procurazie Nuove at Venice he has often been unjustly reproached, because he did not confine himself to two stories, so as to complete the design of Sansovino. The design of Scamozzi, had it been continued in the Piazza San Marco, would have placed in the back ground every other piazza in Europe. The two lower stories of the Procurazie Nuove are similar in design to the Library of S. Marco; and it is greatly to be regretted that Scamozzi was so much otherwise occupied that he had not the opportunity of watching the whole of its execution, which would have extended to thirty arcades, whose whole length would have been 426 feet. Scamozzi only superintended the first thirteeen; the three built by Sansovino excepted, the rest were trusted to the care of builders rather than artists, and, from the little attention bestowed upon preserving the profiles, exhibit a negligence which indicates a decline in the arts at Venice. Scamozzi is placed in the first rank as an architect by his design for the cathedral at Saltzburg, whither he was invited by the archbishop of the see. This church, which was not completed till after his death in 1616, is 454 ft. long, and 329 ft. wide, being in the form of a Latin cross on the plan, over whose centre a cupola rises. The distribution of the interior is with a nave and two side aisles; the former whereof is 64 ft. wide, and 107 ft. high. Scamozzi's employment was very extended, and his country has to lament it; for fewer commissions would have insured greater perfection in their execution, which, in those that exist, is often unworthy of the name of the master. Scamozzi published a work on the art, which will be found in our list of authors at the end of this work. He died in 1616.
356. Besides Giovanni da Ponte and Alessandro Vittoria, the Venetian school contains the names of few more than those we have named : they appear to have commanded the whole of the employ of the states and neighbourhood of Venice for a period of about 110 years, ending in 1616. When, however, it no longer continued to grow and flourish in its native soil, its scions, grafted throughout Europe, spreading their branches in every country, prospered wherever they appeared. On the former of the two architects just named, a few observations are necessary. He died in 1597, at the age of eighty-five years. Principally occupied in the reparation and re-establishment of the buildings of the city that had fallen into decay, he was nevertheless engaged on some considerable works; among which was the great hall of the arsenal at Venice, 986 feet long, and the more celebrated work of the Rialto Bridge, whence he obtained the sobriquet Da Ponte, and for the execution whereof he competed with Palladio and Scamozzi. The span of the single arch of which the work consists is about 72 ft., and the thickness of the arch stones about 4 ft. 4 in. It is segmental, and the height from the level of the water is about 22 ft. 9 in. The width of the bridge is equal to the span of the arch, and this width is divided longitudinally into five divisions, that is, into three streets or passages, and two rows of shops. The middle street or passage is 21 ft. 8 in. wide, and the two side ones near 11 ft. The number of shops on it is twenty-four. The last work of Da Ponte was the construction of the prisons away from the ducal palace. This edifice is a quadrilateral building, with a portico of seven arcades. A story rises out of it pierced by seven great windows decorated with pediments, and it is joined to the palace by the bridge so well known under the name of Il Ponte dei Sospiri. The work was not carried to completion during Giovanni's life, but was finished by his nephew Contino. In his church on the Grand Canal, constructed for the nuns of Santa Croce, there is little merit except that of solidity; indeed, he does not appear to have possessed much taste, as may be inferred from the two ranks of columns in the hall of the arsenal above mentioned, which cannot be said to belong to any of the species of columns usually employed. The solid character of the great prison is appropriate, and more in consonance with the rules of the art.