Skip to main content

Buontalenti delle Girandole, Bernardo

Buontalenti delle Girandole, Bernardo (1531–1608). Florentine architect who also painted and sculpted, as well as designed masques, pyrotechnics (Girandole means a Catherine-wheel), and other amusements for his patrons, the Medici Grand Dukes. His Mannerist detailing is best seen at the idio-syncratic Porta delle Suppliche in the Uffizi, Florence (1580)—where a broken segmental pediment has its scrolls reversed to form a wing-like element supporting the bust of Duke Cosimo—and at the new altar-steps for Santa Trinità (1574–6) now in Santo Stefano—where the trompe l'œil carved steps are unusable, and the real stairs were placed, invisible, on each side. The fantastic grottoes he designed for the Bóboli Gardens (1583–8), where pumice-stone encrustations submerge the entrance, and the interior, with its hidden sources of light and its eerie figures, are a tour-de-force of theatrical effects. He created the Tribuna in the Uffizi (1574–89), the decorations and lavish gardens at the Medici villa at Pratolino (destroyed), and the Casino Mediceo (Casino di San Marco), Florence (1574). Much more restrained is the façade of Santa Trinità (1593–4), with four Giant pilasters carrying an entablature, over which is a pedimented Attic-storey flanked by scrolls. Elegant and simple too is the Fortezza di Belvedere (1590s) set high on a hill to protect the Pitti Palace. Buontalenti designed and built fortifications, engineering works, and a canal. His designs for Mannerist distorted and melting mask decorations anticipate Auricular ornament.


Berti (1967);
Botto (1968);
Dizionario biografico degli italiani (1972);
Fara (1979, 1988, 1990)

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Buontalenti delle Girandole, Bernardo." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . 26 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Buontalenti delle Girandole, Bernardo." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . (April 26, 2019).

"Buontalenti delle Girandole, Bernardo." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Retrieved April 26, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.