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hôtel des Tournelles
Hôtel de Nesle
Hôtel St-Pol
Early 16th century Paris
Palais de la Cité
The Italian word rinascimento (rebirth) was already used by 15th cent. Italian
writers to indicate the restoration and reintroduction of Ancient Roman standards,
notably the orders.
Today the word Renaissance means, first of all, Italian art and architecture from
1420 (Brunelleschi) to the mid-16th cent.
In countries other than Italy the Renaissance started with the adoption of Italian
Renaissance motifs, but the resulting styles have little in common with the qualities
of the Italian Renaissance, which are a sense of stability and poise as well as
Ancient Roman forms and ornament.
The organization of the exterior space is commanded by
the proportions of the Antic orders
ORDER: in classical architecture, a column with base, shaft & capital and
entablature with architrave, frieze & cornice decorated and proportioned
according to one of the accepted modes: Doric, Ionic, Corinthian (Greek)
Tuscan, Composite (Roman)
Superposition of the three orders: always a less decorated
below a more decorated
• Colosseum in
Rome (69-79
– ground-level
– First level
– Second level
For the introduction of the Renaissance, Florence took
precedence over Rome
Foundling hospital in
Florence (1419)
architecture prefers
arcades of slender
architecture in Italy is
characterized by
harmony, clarity and
strength. It features
the use of classical
motifs and the
architectural orders, or
columns styles, of
The earliest example of a systematic use of
Quattrocento pilasters occurs at the
Château de Gaillon (1502-10), close to
Rouen, constructed by the cardinal Georges
outlaying of ornaments mixing Gothic and
Italian renaissance fluted half columns.
Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau (1518-1527)
constructed for Gilles Berthelot
a regular composition of the French
castle with the majestic italian
inspired staircase occupying the
central span and with regular registers
of windows ;
but the upper part is still medieval:
towers and curtain walls crowned by
false crenelation supported by
a part of the building in the river, a
natural moat.
Chenonceaux (1515-24); constructed for Thomas Bohier
The oldest part: different
from usual French castles
in the plan: one building
regroups all the spaces:
squared plan surrounded
by four towers
chapel and cabinet
hanging over the river
central corridor that
ends up on a small
balcony dominating the
river (today in the
The bridge over the river constructed in the 1550 by Philibert de
the upper galleries constructed about 1560 by Jean Bullant
Francis 1st
king of France 1515-1547
Constant struggle against Charles Quint
(Charles 5th) ruler of the Spanish Empire from
1516 and of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519
until 1556.
Leonardo da Vinci,
lived in Amboise at
Le Clos Lucé from
1515 until his dead
in 1519.
The king in 1527, by Jean Clouet (Louvre)
Blois (1515-24)
reconstruction of the medieval castle
by Francis I
Staircases were given more
importance in French architecture
of the 16th cent than was usually
the case in Italian palaces of the
same period.
the large open stone staircase
replaces a tower; four storey
decorated with pilasters,
balustrades, salamanders …
Chambord (1519-47)
a central keep surrounded by towers and a lower
the corner towers are reminiscent of the defensive
architecture of medieval castles
the donjon/keep is divided by a cross-shaped
entrance hall with in each corner an apartment, the
crossing is occupied by the staircase
an ingenious double-spiral staircase in the center
(possibly inspired by drawings of Leonardo da Vinci)
and tunnel-vaulted corridors to north, south, west and
Francis 1st Fontainebleau
The transformation of a medieval fortress into
a Renaissance castle started in 1528
Italian masters working in
France for the king:
Rosso from Florence(1594-1540)
Primaticcio (1504-1570) from
Bologna etc.
Salle de bal
Galerie François Ier
The keep of the Louvre
demolished in 1528
The Louvre before 1528
The Louvre in the 1570’s
Pierre Lescot (1500/15-1578)
He began the rebuilding of the Essentially decorative, his style is
Louvre in 1546-78 – birth of the very French and entirely lacks the
monumentality of his Italian
French Classicism.
He had the great advantage of the
sculptor Jean Goujon’s collaboration,
and his ornamental detail is therefore
of greatest refinement and delicacy.
French renaissance manner in the decoration: Corinthian and Composite orders,
plastic sculpted façade
vertical composition in five sections
Ground-floor very sober decoration, richer on the first floor and abundant in the attic
Lescot’s wing
Hôtel Carnavalet?
Fontaine des Innocents,
architect: Pierre Lescot
sculptor: Jean Goujon
originally in the corner of the streets SaintDenis/rue aux Fers (today rue Berger)
Philibert de l’Orme (1500/15-1570)
French architect born in Lyon, son of a master mason
He spent three years in Rome, probably 1533-6
His buildings are notable for their ingenuity and sometimes outrageous
experimentations: he introduced the dome
Almost everything that he built has been destroyed, only some fragments of
important compostions have survived
He had a great influence on the development of French architecture through
his books: Nouvelles inventions (1561) and Architecture (1567)
The castle of Anet
constructed for Diane de Poitiers (1541-1563)
Henry II
Diane de Poitiers
The chapel
Le Palais des Tuileries
constructed for the queen Catherine de Medicis
architects: Philibert de l’Orme and Jean Bullant from 1564
Hôtel de Ville (1533-1628)
-Started by Francis Ist Italian architect de Cortona
- works interrupted during the civic wars
- under Henry 4th, directed by Martin de La Vallée
French Renaissance Castle
Chimney shaft
Corner pavilion
Dormer window
Span or bay