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Influential Renaissance Architecture Essay

1453 words - 6 pages

As one begins to delve into the history of modern architecture one quickly realizes the influence that Renaissance architects such as Donato Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo had on modern architecture. Simply look around a city at the business district and one will see bits and pieces of the Renaissance architecture. The Renaissance architecture has had an influence on architecture throughout the ages.
St. Peter’s Basilica
Donato Bramante was born in 1444 near Urbino. At an early age Bramante was exposed to the world of art and architecture. Bramante’s early exposure to the world of art influenced his future architectural work such as his work on Saint Peter’s Basilica. Bramante started to gained recognition while he was working on “Tempietto” that was constructed on the site that is believed to be the site where St. Peter was hung (Benton & Di Yanni, 2005). The work on Tempietto was commissioned by Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain; thus, bringing prestige to Bramante’s work. It was this type of recognition that led to Bramante being commissioned to design and rebuild St Peter’s Basilica.
Pope Julius II decided that the old basilica need to be torn down because the old basilica had been built in the early fourth century during the era of Constantine; therefore, the Pope decided a new basilica was needed. He appointed Bramante as the architecture to build a new Basilica befitting the papacy’s image (Benton & Di Yanni, 2005). Bramante decided that the new basilica would be a magnificent version of the Tempietto that he had built in 1502. The design would be “a monumentally proportioned, centrally planned church to be capped by an immense dome” (Fiero, 2008, p. 196). He did not follow the “classical longitudinal Latin cross (three short arms and one long one), Bramante chose to utilize a Greek cross (four arms of equal length) with a central dome” (Benton & Di Yanni, 2005). Bramante felt that the symmetry and harmony of the design was a perfect representation of God’s perfection and the Pantheon style dome completed the design (Benton & Di Yanni, 2005).
The basilica plans included four chapels that would occupy the corner area between the transepts; however, Bramante died before the basilica was completed and his plans were strayed from (Benton & DiYanni, 2005). After Bramante’s death in 1514 several architects tried to complete the work of Bramante; however they were not successful until in 1546 when Michelangelo was appointed to complete the basilica (Benton & Di Yanni, 2005).
Bramante’s plans were altered as Michelangelo made simple changes to Bramante’s original plans; instead of using the Greek cross system that Bramante planned, Michelangelo enlarged the four main pillars so that the dome could be structurally supported safely (Benton & Di Yanni, 2005). This change brought about interior changes as well.
In 1546 Michelangelo successfully placed an “elliptically shaped dome on a huge drum ornamented with...

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