New publication by Louis Cellauro, EURIAS Fellow 2015-2016


Vitruvius revisited: Palladio's canonical orders in the first book of "I quattro libri dell'architettura"

Acta ad archaeologiam et artium historiam pertinentia (ACTA) is published by the Norwegian Institute in Rome in association with Scienze e Lettere, Rome, Vol 29 (2016).





This contribution examines Palladio’s relation to Vitruvius with regard to the canonical orders: the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. Palladio became acquainted with Vitruvius through his first mentor, Gian Giorgio Trissino, who had founded an academy. In the first book of I Quattro Libri dell’Architettura Palladio repeatedly refers to Vitruvius. However, like most Renaissance architects, Palladio also studied the existing remains of Roman architecture. For him, archaeological evidence had more weight than the written word of Vitruvius. Though Palladio regarded Vitruvius as his “master and guide”, he would deviate from Vitruvius’ rules when he found the remains of Roman architecture more satisfactory. For Palladio, Vitruvius’ rules were not unalterable, they were guidelines which the architect could modify.