Some of you might know, but I recently started studying for the ARE's (the exams I need to take to become licensed). Right now I am reading background material, the History of Architecture, because they throw random history questions into every exam sooooo I thought I'd brush up. I just finished reading about (you guessed it) the Renaissance period, not only has it brought me back to my college seminars but it has me yearning for Italy something bad.
When I think Renaissance, this book pops into my head. I can see it sitting on my bookshelf now.
When my family visited Italy in 2004, right after my college graduation, I brought my notebooks from my Architectural History classes. One of them was 'Palaces of the Italian Renaissance.' I dragged my parents through Florence, from Medici Palace to Medici Palace, teaching them what I learned in my classes. I remember this one, because it had scaffolding in front of it when we were there. I think we passed it twice. This is the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence.
This is a great example of rustication (archi-term): This tripartite division is emphasized by horizontal stringcourses that divide the building into stories of decreasing height. The transition from the rusticated masonry of the ground floor to the more delicately refined stonework of the third floor makes the building seem lighter and taller as the eye moves upward to the massive cornice that caps and clearly defines the building's outline.
Here's a photo of the inner courtyard.
And one of my other favorite buildings from the Renaissance Period, the Tempietto (small chapel) by Bramante.
Isn't it so cute! I will never forget my brother's reaction after trekking up the, what seemed, never-ending hill to find this Chapel of - this is what you wanted to see? It's in the courtyard of San Pietro, perfectly proportioned. Architecture as sculpture?