Giuliano da Sangallo’s Surface Architecture

Giuliano da Sangallo architect

The Florentine architect Giuliano da Sangallo is one of the major interpreters of the Italian Renaissance. Born in Florence in the 1440s, at a time when the power of the Medici was being consolidated, he died in 1516, during the pontificate of Leo X. His links with the Medici family were decisive for his professional fortune. They even determined the development of his architectural style, in particular during the years of his very close intellectual rapport with Lorenzo the Magnificent. Yet Giuliano’s career as an architect was also developed outside Tuscany, in the entourage of Giuliano della Rovere, at Savona, and especially in Rome, after the latter had ascended the pontifical throne as Julius II in 1503. The extensive family atelier he founded would also be active both in Rome and in Florence. The two generations of architects, military engineers, sculptors, and sometimes painters, which formed part of it, were widely and actively involved in the most important Renaissance architectural commissions of the day, replicating the model set by the many-sided genius of the first of the Sangallo. It was Giuliano, moreover, who laid the foundations for the stylistic explorations that would yield their most mature results in the works of later generations of Florentine architects, ranging from his nephew Antonio da Sangallo the Younger down to Michelangelo Buonarroti and Jacopo Sansovino. A highly skilled draughtsman, an insatiable explorer of Antiquity, and a great innovator of religious and civil architecture, it is to Giuliano that we owe some of the most important architectural prototypes of the Western world. Buildings such as the central-plan church of Santa Maria delle Carceri, at Prato, or the Villa Medici at Poggio a Caiano, came to coincide with the very image we have of Renaissance architecture.

Piero di Cosimo, Portrait of Giuliano da Sangallo, around 1485, Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum. Photo: Hanfstaengl, before 1893, silver gelatin print, 27,5 x 20 cm, inv. no. 301079

Giuliano da Sangallo, “Vedute di fiume” (Views of Rome), from: Codex Barberiniano Latino 4424, fol. 34v, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Barb. Lat. 4424. Photo: Gustavo Lucchetti, aristotype, 24,8 x 19,3 cm, before 1902, inv. no. 26224 (bequest by Cornelius von Fabriczy)

Luigi Catani: Giuliano da Sangallo hands Lorenzo de' Medici a modell of the villa in Poggio a Caiano, 1810/15, Poggio a Caiano (Prato), Medici villa. Photo: Cristian Ceccanti, 2014, digital photograph, inv. no. 614482

Giuliano da Sangallo, Map of Pisa, Florence, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi, inv. no. 7950 A. Photo: Unknown photographer, silver gelatin print, 19,5 x 24,8 cm, before 1898, inv. no. 491 (donated by Heinrich von Geymüller)

© KHI in Florence | 27.10.2020 10:47:56