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Scamozzi, Vincenzo

Scamozzi, Vincenzo (1548–1616). Italian architect, remembered primarily as a disciple of Palladio and as the author of one of the great Renaissance treatises on architecture, L'Idea dell'Architettura Universale (The Idea of Universal Architecture—1615), which included an analysis and codification of the Classical Roman Orders that remained influential for many years. Early in his career he designed the Vettor Pisani Villa or Rocca (rock or strong-hold), Lonigo (1576–9), a variant of Palladio's Villa Capra (Rotonda), near Vicenza, which Scamozzi completed in c.1592. The Rocca was planned with a serliana on three elevations, and on the fourth a loggia behind a colonnade carrying a pediment, the four openings giving access to a circular hall illuminated by an oculus set in a dome, the whole conceived as an enchanting summer retreat, filled with light and air. Burlington drew on this building as well as on the Villa Capra for his villa at Chiswick in C18. Scamozzi's Villa Molin, Mandria, near Padua (1597), also has a great central hall. His finest town-house was the Palazzo Trissino, Vicenza (1576–92), in which influences from Peruzzi and Palladio are clear.

In the late 1570s he travelled to Rome and Southern Italy, visiting Rome on at least three more occasions in 1585–6 and the 1590s. In 1580 he published engravings of Roman thermae, and later prepared commentaries for various topographical prints of Rome as Discorsi sopra le Antichità di Roma (Discourses on the Antiquities of Rome—1582 and 1583). Around this time he produced designs for the Theatine Church of San Gaetano, Padua, and won the design competition for the Procuratie Nuove, Piazza San Marco, Venice (1592—completed in 1663 by Longhena). The vast Procuratie elevation is based on Sansovino's Library of St Mark (which Scamozzi was at that time completing), but it has an extra storey (not part of Scamozzi's plans) based on a design by Palladio. He also worked on Palladio's Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, and designed the fixed architectural stage-sets for Palladio's Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza (1584–5), an elaborate construction using tricks of perspective and illusion. He designed a similar theatre at Sabbioneta in 1588, and wrote a treatise on perspective and scenography (Dei Teatri e delle Scenec.1574), which does not appear to have survived.

Scamozzi toured Central Europe and France (1599–1600), making an unexecuted design for the Cathedral of Sts Rupert and Virgil at Salzburg. Santino Solari retained the apsidal transepts and certain other features derived from Palladio's Il Redentore and San Giorgio Maggiore in the realized scheme (commenced 1614). Scamozzi designed and built the Hospital and Church of San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti (1601–36), and the Palazzo Contarini on the Grand Canal (1608–16), both in Venice.


Barbieri (1952);
D. Howard (1980);
Muraro (1986);
Placzek (ed.) (1982);
Scamozzi (1615);
Jane Turner (1996)

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