ARC History Short Answers

  1. Make sure that you can discuss briefly how both people’s views on the world and architecture changed from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.
    Architects began looking at architecture as a mathematical perfection, and in pursuit of this goal they turned to whole number ratios. It was also believed that God’s cosmic order could be expressed on earth though mathematical proportions related to the human body. Unlike medieval architecture, they held strongly to the square and circle. Central planned churches, the Vitruvian man.
  2. Make sure you are able to discuss in detail how Brunelleschi solved the problem of building the dome of the Florence cathedral. (See King’s, Brunelleschi’s Dome).
    In order to reduce the outward thrust of the dome, he employed a gothic pointed arch cross section instead of a semi circular one. In order to reduce the dead load, he created a double shell, of a radial and concentric courses of masonry until they were computed as stable compression rings and used this to support scaffolding in turn supported more centering.
  3. Make sure that you can define Alberti's idea of beauty and describe how it is illustrated in his design for Sant’ Andrea.
    Alberti’s commissions were ecclesiastical. Like the façade of S. Maria Novella, he believed beauty lies in geometric proportions. He also made designs that inspired architects to follow and make subsequent building like it. This happened with Sant’ Andrea. The church’s plan is that of the ancient Roman Basilica of Constantine. The assemblage of classical elements on the interior presents the first Renaissance vision of rivaling the monumentality of their interior spaces of such ancient roman monuments as the basilicas and baths.
  4. Be able to identify the plans of Bramante, Michelangelo, and Maderno designs for S. Peters.
    • Bramante: Initial Greek Cross plan. Central piers that were under structured and would not hold up the dome. 
    • Michelangelo: designed the dome after Brunelleschi’s dome of Florence. Razed exterior walls of the transept and ambulatory. Reduced and simpliefied bramante’s version
    • Maderno: designed the nave and entrance façade that diminished the presence of the dome.
  5. Be able to discuss the basic development of the design of New S. Peters and how the rebuilding of the 1000+year old church reflects the debates over central plan vs. longitudinal plan churches (who favored which and why?).
    • Sangolla was the first chosen for the design of new st. peters; however, he died during the first year of construction. Michelangelo then took over simplifying the design and adding the dome. After michelangleo died della Porta came in and constructed the dome, making adjustments to solidify the design and make the dome possible to construct. Michelangelo’s dome was built as planned. Then Maderno added the nave and entrance façade. 
    • New st.peter’s started out central planned by both Michelangelo and Bramante but then converted to a longitudinal plan after it was done being constructed. This shows Michelangelo and Bramante favored central planned structures but it was forced into longitudinal by the addition of the nave.
  6. Be able to explain how Michelangelo’s art and architecture broke the proportional rules of the early renaissance.
    Michelanglo began to combine central and longitudinal planning. Instead of focusing things orthogonally he would do them diagonally. Michelangelo did not base everything of proportions or mathematical context. He played with curved walls and huge domes. He believed that buildings shouldn’t be calculated with mathematics and harmonic proportions, but that should be kepts in ones eyes.
  7. Be able to describe what it means to be a "renaissance man".
    • A man who has broad intellectual interests and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences.Largely based on the various artists and scholars of the European Renaissance, (starting in about 1450 CE), who pursued multiple fields of studies. Perhaps the quintessential renaissance man of this period was Leonardo Da Vinci, who was a master of art, an engineer, an anatomy expert (for the time), and also pursued many other disciplines with great success and aplomb.
    • In the actual Renaissance period, men who were educated aspired to become Renaissance men. They were expected to know several languages, understand philosophy and scientific teachings, appreciate literature and art, and further, to be deft sportsmen. Such emphasis was inspired by earlier periods, and for the first time, scholars had access to many of the Greek philosophers and writers whose work had been lost for centuries. All due to the humanistic revival of classical art, architecture, literature, and learning that originated in Italy in the 14th century and later spread throughout Europe.
    • From French: Renaissance "re-birth"
  8. Be able to discuss why Giulio Romano was given the nickname Joking Giulio
    As a mannerist, Romano disrupted pure classicism by throwing by throwing some architectural surprises and jokes into the design of Palazzo Te. For example, between the columns on the east and west courtyard facades, every third triglyph has slipped out of alignment, as if the palace had been shaken by a selective earthquake on just two sides of the building. In addition, giant-sized keystones protrude into the pediments above the arches, as if they’d slipped upward. This disrupts the classical order and suggest the building is unstable (big keystones can’t even hold it together.) He also combined fat stones with skinny and medium-sized, some smooth and others rusticated (rough and beveled). Some protrude and others flush leading to agitated Mannerist style rather than classical calm. On the interior he depicts a story from Greek mythology about giants getting into a battle with the Olympians (Zeus etc.) by painting toppling brickwork over one of the entrances making the doorway look like it’s being crushed.
  9. Be able to discuss how Palladio’s architecture is both similar and different than the architecture of the early renaissance.
    First Renaissance architect to use an arch flanked by square-headed openings (also known as Serliana). First to apply columns and pediments of a temple front to a house because he interpreted Vitruvius as saying that Greek temples had evolved from houses. Palladio's work was strongly based on the symmetry, perspective and values of the formal classical temple architecture of the Ancient Greeks and Romans
  10. Be able to discuss how and why Pope Sixtus V attempted to modernize Rome.
    Public works were undertaken, including the building of twenty-seven new fountains and the provision of a reliable water supply through the repair of ancient aqueducts and the construction of a new one, and law and order were restored to the city. The wool and silk industries were revived, further increasing employment opportunities. The people who most benefited from changes in Rome were pilgrims coming to see the major Christian shrines. Recognizing that these religious visitors were important to the city’s economy, Sixtus planned to link Rome’s seven Early Christian basilicas with direct processional routes, punctuated by vertical elements (obelisks and domes) and fountains to mark major points along the way.
  11. Be able to discuss how the architecture of the Italian Baroque era differs from that of the early and high renaissance.
    The dynamic rhythm of columns and pilasters, central massing, and the protrusion and condensed central decoration add complexity to the structure. There is an incipient playfulness with the rules of classic design, still maintaining rigor.
  12. Be able to discuss how Italian Baroque architecture (along with its art) reflected the mission of the Catholic Church during the Counter Reformation.
    Baroque painting – Italian Baroque artists worked to increase the dramatic expressiveness of religious subject matter in order to give viewers he sense that they were participating in the action of the scene. They copied nature faithfully and without idealization. Painters renounced grand style of the High Renaissance, which called for dignity, decorum, and the idealization of figures and setting. Brings sacred subjects down to earth with an almost cameralike naturalism (ordinary). Subjects have a strong physical presence and frank homeliness that transform biblical miracles into human narratives – a bold repudiation of Italian Renaissance conventions of beauty.

    • Baroque sculpture – Bernini challenged Renaissance sculptural tradition by investing it with a daring degree of dramatic theatricality. His life-sized marble sculpture of David renders this favorite
    • biblical personality in a manner that recreates the very action of his assault; and since the object of that assault, Goliath, lies outside the boundary of the sculpture itself, the viewer is drawn into the space “implied” by the explosive action. Bernini’s most important contribution to baroque religious sculpture was his multimedia masterpiece The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. The visually compelling piece illustrates Bernini’s dazzling skill in bringing to life Saint Teresa’s autobiographical description of divine seduction. These life-sized figures extend the supernatural space of the chapel and reinforce the viewer’s role as witness to an actual event.

    • Baroque Architecture - As with Saint Peter’s, Italian baroque churches were designed to reflect the mystical and evangelical ideals of the Catholic Reformation. Il Gesù (the Church of Jesus) in Rome was the mother church of the Jesuit order and the model for hundreds of Counter-Reformation churches
    • built throughout Europe and Latin America. Designed by Giacomo da Vignola (1507–1573), Il Gesù bears the typical features of the baroque church interior: a broad Latin cross nave with domed crossing and deeply recessed Chapels. While the Renaissance façade was conceived in two dimensions, according to an essentially geometric linear pattern, the baroque church front is conceived in three. Like a Caravaggio painting, Il Gesù exploits dramatic contrasts of light and dark and of shallow and deep space. Borromini’s aversion to the circle and the square—the “perfect” shapes of Renaissance architecture—extends to the interior of San Carlo, which is oval in plan. The dome, also oval, is lit by hidden windows that allow light to flood the interior. Carved with geometric motifs that diminish in size toward the apex, the shallow cupola appears to recede deep into space Such inventive illusionism, accented by dynamic spatial contrasts, characterized the Roman baroque style of
    • church architecture at its best. But the theatricality of this architecture went further still: by painting religious scenes on the walls and ceilings of churches and chapels, baroque artists turned houses of God into theaters for sacred drama. dramatic foreshortening. walls above Sant’Ignazio’s clerestory appear to open up, so that the viewer gazes “through” the roof into the heavens that receive the levitating body of the saint.
  13. Be able to discuss the formal development of French architecture from fortified castle to grand palace.
    • Toward the end of the 15th century, King Charles and his armies began a series of invasions into Italy (notably Northern Italy).  Although those invasions did not extend the French kingdom extensively, they did have one positive effect on French architecture, the import of renaissance architecture from Italy to France.  Here, the King’s court is very much in charge of commissions instead of Princes and the church in Italy.   Thus, Italian art were transported back to France, Italian artists and architects were invited to undertake commissions and French artist were sent to Italy to train in Renaissance art and architecture.  
    • Architecture in France can be divided into two categories: early renaissance and Mannerism.  Chateau de Blois is the best example of early French architecture.    The style is characterized by round arches ( giant order), domes and flat roofs with a blind of Gothic architecture.
  14. Be able to discuss how the use of the Baroque style in French architecture differs from that in Italy, as well as how it was influenced by Italian architecture (i.e. Versailles).
    The Baroque in France mostly glorified the monarchy and placed a heavy emphasis on the interior decoration of palaces (paintings and sculptures being the most elements used for that purpose).   The five façades system was developed also during this period and the designs of gardens that have infinite view of the horizon were also implemented in the architecture.
  15. Be able to discuss how the architecture and gardens of Versailles reflect the image of Louis XIV as the Sun King.
    Nowhere in France is the Baroque in better display than here in the Palace de Versailles.  It was a direct statement glorification of the power of the King (Louis XIV).  The interior of the palace was decorated with paintings at grand scale on of which depicted the King in a chariot as Apollo, the Greek god of peace and war.  Vast gardens, with axial vistas, terraces, sculpture, formal flowerbeds, fountains (i.e Latona Fountain), water basins, and paths were all integrated into a plan that focused entirely on Louis XIV bedroom located in the center of the palace.
  16. Be able to discuss how the Rococo differs from the Baroque in France.
    While both styles placed a heavy emphasis on interior decoration, the Rococo differs from the Baroque as the style was largely confined to private home of the wealthy who decorated the interior of their houses with wall paintings, ornamental mirrors, sculptures and ornate furniture.  The style also experimented with gentle and romantic curves in the design of these homes and gold was the primary color used for the interior decoration.
  17. Be able to discuss how the design of Karlskirche reflects Fischer von Erlach’s interest in history (as seen in his publication Entwurff einer historischen Architectur (A Plan of Civil and Historical Architecture). Make sure that you look at the preface that is included in Mallgrave (#51)!
    Fischer von Erlach united different elements from different architecture styles in the design of Karlskirche.  The result was an original building that referred to many major buildings of the past.  The columned portico was borrowed from Roman Temples such as the Pantheon; the two columns flanking the façade of the building found their inspiration from Trajan’s Column in Rome; the dome and drum from Roman renaissance architecture (perhaps St. Peter) and the overall design of the building resembles the dome and minarets of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
  18. Be able to discuss how the Baroque in Central Europe is a reflection of both the Rococo and the Italian Baroque.
    The Baroque monuments of Italy were important sources for central Europe.  Il (il) Gesu in Rome was particular influential because its design led to the development of the wall-pillar that characterizes many central European Baroque churches.  The Interaction of axial and centralized plans advanced by Bernini and Borromini in Italy continued in central Europe.
  19. Be able to discuss how the Baroque church in England differs from that of Italy.
    The Baroque did not have any impact on England before the great fire of 1665 because of the English Channel separating the country from the rest of Europe.  Christopher Wren was the architect largely in charge of the reconstruction of London after the fire and under him the Baroque style differed from most of the models on the continent.  A taste for classicism and clarity in designs was the major characters of the English Baroque.  Size and the overall scope of the design were favored over the decoration and embellishment of buildings common throughout the rest of the continent.
  20. Be able to discuss the development of the design of St. Paul’s.
    The firs plan submitted Christopher Wren called “the Great Model” consisted of a major dome on eight piers ringed with secondary domes forming a continuous ambulatory similar to Bramante’s 1506 design for St. Peter’s.  But because of the close link with Roman Catholicism, the plan was not accepted and a Latin-cross plan, similar to the previous building was requested.  The “Warrant Design” which was Wren second plan consisted of a minuscule drum and dome capped by a six-tiered cupola.  Wren will change this design over the building period of the church.  The final product incorporated elements from a wide variety of sources.  The plan of the cathedral is a basilica with saucer domes in the nave and aisles and buttresses above the aisles roofs.  The north and south transept porticos resemble the façade of S. Maria della Pace in Rome and the west front is based on Claude Perrault’s façade or the Louvre.  Because Wren changed the original design of the drum to that of Bramante’s design for St. Peter, he resorted to the triple-domed strategy employed by Mansart in the design of St. Louis-des-Invalides.
  21. Be able to discuss the regional variations of Baroque churches around the world.
    I don’t have any information on this one.  If you have any, please let me know
Card Set
ARC History Short Answers
ARC History Short Answers