Andrea Palladio
Italian, 1508-1580

One of greatest architects of 16th-century northern Italy, Andrea Palladio was the first to systematize the plan of a house. Incorporating elements from ancient Roman architecture into his designs, Palladio combined the graceful order and symmetry of classical structures with the humanist ideals of the Renaissance and the functional imperatives of Italian households into plans for villas and palaces. Early in his life he came into contact with Count Giorgio Trissino, whose home served as a meeting ground for humanist thinkers and patrons, who greatly influenced the young Palladio. His own designs for homes and churches, which employed perfect geometry and proportional subtleties, became internationally popular in the 18th century, creating a style known as Palladianism. Palladio was also a contributor to important architectural literature, including his 1556 collaboration with the scholar Daniele Barbaro in reconstructing Roman buildings for the plates of Vitruvius’s influential architectural treatise De architectura.