Baldassare Peruzzi

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Peruzzi, Baldassare (1481–1536). Italian uomo universale of the High Renaissance, influenced by Bramante and Raphael. His first great building was the Palazzo della Farnesina, Rome (1505–11), an exquisite house (sometimes referred to as a villa) with frescoes by Ugo da Carpi (d. 1532), Peruzzi himself, Raphael, Giulio Romano, and Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (1477–1549—known as Il Sodoma (the Sodomite)). Essentially a square on plan, it has a loggia between two projecting wings on the garden-front. In 1520 he was appointed Architect (with Sangallo) at St Peter's, but fled the city after the Sack of Rome (1527), settling in Siena, where until 1532 he was engaged on strengthening the fortifications, and remodelled the Church of San Domenico (1531–3). From 1531 he was again working at St Peter's, Rome, and was appointed Architect to the basilica in 1534. The Palazzo Massimi alle Colonne, Rome (1532–7), however, is reckoned to be his masterpiece: an ingeniously planned building on a difficult site, it has a curved façade to the street with Tuscan columns and pilasters on the ground-floor arranged in pairs. The whole front is rusticated, and the piano nobile is separated from the ground-floor by an entablature. Above the piano nobile are two rows of small windows—the lower has architraves with elaborate frames, the patterns of which were to be developed as strapwork by Serlio and disseminated through his publications all over Europe. The courts which are arranged to be similar to Roman atria are on two different axes. Certain details of this palazzo (such as the frames of the second-floor windows and the freedom with which the Orders are used) suggest proto-Mannerism.


R. Adams (1980);
M. Fagiolo & Madonna (eds.) (1987);
C. Frommel (1973);
Heydenreich (1996);
Lotz (1977);
Placzek (ed.) (1982);
Jane Turner (1996);
Tessari (1995);
Wurm (ed.) (from 1984)

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Baldassare Peruzzi (bäldäs-sä´rā pārōōt´tsē), 1481–1536, Italian architect and painter of the High Renaissance and mannerist periods. His outstanding architectural works are the Villa Farnesina (c.1505–c.1511) and the Palazzo Massimi (c.1535) in Rome. He also did architectural and painting projects for the Vatican and succeeded Raphael in 1520 as architect of St. Peter's. In painting, his use of perspective illusionism and classical figures may be seen at the Villa Farnesina, while a turn toward mannerist composition and spatial arrangement is visible in Presentation of the Virgin (c.1518; Santa Maria della Pace, Rome). In both architecture and painting Peruzzi adapted forms derived from ancient art to his own elegant and sophisticated style.

See study by R. N. Adams (1977); biography by W. W. Kent (1925).