Often proclaimed the "Father of Western
Architecture", Palladio leaves behind a legacy of neo-classical
civic buildings, churches, villas, palaces and bridges strewn about
the Veneto. This page focuses on his villas and may gradually
expand as I overcome the vagaries of Italian road signs and
eventually discover the remaining ones. Unlike the urban
palaces, Palladio's villas are located in the countryside usually
with the dual purpose of residence and farm building, though
sometimes as little more than elaborate recreational follies.
The notion of the "Perfect House" is
primarily one of mathematical correctness in proportions of column
height, width and spacing, not of comfort or practicality,
ostensibly derived from Vitruvius' de Architectura of 15BC.
This despite the equal weight placed by Vitruvius on the other
desirable attributes of any building, "firmness, commodity and delight". The Palladian
quest for symmetrical perfection at the expense of function somehow
ignores the fact that Vitruvius' treatise is inconsistent both
internally and in its record of the actual dimensions of Greek and
Roman remains on which it is purportedly based. Not only that,
Palladio himself often ignores those same proportions when they are
Regardless of their mathematical correctness,
these villas in their context are pretty cool, though possibly less
so when transposed to the blasted moorlands of Scotland.