Belvedere

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Belvedere (bĕl´vədēr, Ital. bālvādĕ´rā), court of the Vatican named after a villa built (1485–87) for Innocent VIII. The villa was decorated with frescoes by Pinturicchio and others; a chapel painted by Mantegna was demolished when the villa was made part of the Museo Pio-Clementino at the end of the 18th cent. The Belvedere court, connecting the villa and the Vatican, was designed (1503–4) by Bramante for Julius II to include an architectural garden, a permanent theater, a museum building, and a statue court. The Laocoön, discovered in 1506, was placed in the statue court; in 1511 the Apollo Belvedere (see under Apollo, in Greek religion) was installed in a special niche. When Bramante died in 1514, only a portion of the Belvedere was completed; many modifications were made under a succession of architects including Giuliano Sangallo, Raphael, Peruzzi, and Antonio Sangallo. Now a museum, the Belvedere still contains the Laocoön and the Apollo as well as other rare works of classical antiquity.

See study by J. S. Ackerman (1954).

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belvedere a summer house or open-sided gallery, typically at rooftop level, commanding a fine view; the word comes (in the late 16th century) from Italian, literally ‘fair sight’. (See also the Apollo Belvedere at Apollo.)
Belvedere Torso a Greek sculpture fragment of a male nude, believed to have been copied by the Athenian sculptor Apollonius from a 2nd-century original; the pose of the torso influenced Michelangelo and was much studied in the Late Renaissance and Baroque periods.

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belvedere. Any raised structure or tower erected over the roof of a dwelling-house or on a vantage-point in a landscape from which pleasant scenery may be viewed. Such a building in a garden might be in the form of a Classical temple, and is also termed a gazebo, mirador, or summer-house.

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bel·ve·dere / ˈbelviˌdi(ə)r/ • n. a summerhouse or open-sided gallery, usually at rooftop level, commanding a fine view.

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belvedere turret on a building commanding a view. XVI. (partly through F. belvédère) — It. belvedere lit. ‘fair sight’, f. bel, bello beautiful + vedere sight.