Palladio's Venice

Architecture and Society in a Renaissance Republic

Tracy E. Cooper

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A glamorous and unprecedented exploration of Palladio’s work in one of the most beautiful of all cities

Celebrated Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio (1508–1580) devoted much of his career to the city of Venice. Famous for public buildings he had designed in his native Vicenza and country villas he had built for wealthy patricians there, he arrived in Venice in the mid- 1550s confident of establishing a successful new practice. Yet Palladio’s Venetian career never matched his lofty expectations. Failing to achieve the position of state architect or to earn the kinds of commissions to which he was accustomed, he found himself working in a category new to his practice: ecclesiastical architecture. It was his stunning churches, however, including San Giorgio Maggiore and Il Redentore, that established Palladio’s lasting renown.

In this fascinating and beautifully illustrated book, Tracy E. Cooper organizes Palladio’s work in Venice according to different types of patrons. She discusses his major monuments as well as less well-known work for charitable foundations, convents, triumphal processions, and the rebuilding of the Ducal Palace. She tells the compelling story of an established architect breaking into a new market and of a Renaissance city in the midst of sweeping change.

Tracy E. Cooper is associate professor, Temple University.

"At all points, descriptions of buildings are clear and detailed, and accompanying plans, sections, and diagrams enhance the reader's understanding of the designs. Unparalleled among titles on Palladio for its depth, quality of prose, and richness of illustrations."—Library Journal

“This is the first [book] to deal exclusively with [Palladio’s] work in Venice… [It] is scholarly and thorough.” - George Saumarez Smith, Architects Journal

"Massively documented and beautifully illustrated."—Bruce Boucher, New York Times Book Review

"This is actually two books in one: firstly, a scholarly study of most of Palladio's Venetian works...secondly, the book is a fascinating depiction of Venetian society at the time...These buildings of grandeur and simplicity have long deserved such a thorough and scholarly examination. In this magisterial monograph they have finally got one."---Andrew Schering, The Tablet

“[In Palladio’s Venice we have] the work of one extraordinary architect . . . and one of the outstanding releases of the season.”— Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"[A] sumptuous book. . . . Fascinating and beautifully illustrated. . . . It can be said that Palladio was not just one of the most influential architects who ever lived, but perhaps more importantly, also an urban architect of one of the greatest Renaissance cities that Europe has produced. It can also be argued that the lessons gleaned by examining Palladio's work in Venice are valuable not only as historical documents but also as practical guides to contemporary architectural practice."—Victor Deupi, Traditional Building

"Graded with splendid, full-page color plates, Tracy Cooper's Palladio's Venice offers a bountiful tour of the painting and sculpture of Venice in the later sixteenth century, along with the architecture  Andrea Palladio designed  for that city between ca. 1550 and his death in 1580."—Eugene J. Johnson, Renaissance Quarterly

"What the reader is presented with is a visually lavish book, but one that demands and rewards close reading.  This is a densely argued and challenging book which goes a long way towards claiming Venice as the city where Andrea Palladio made his greatest contribution to architecture." --- Gabrielle Neher, The Art Book

"Professor Cooper's...deep learning, measured judgements, sensitive treatment, and far-reaching command of the social setting will make this the standard account for generations." --- Theodore K. Rabb, Art Newspaper

"An impressively comprehensive look at Palladio's production in the city. Cooper successfully extends the scope of her study beyond the normal limits of scholarship on Palladio's contributions to Venetian architectural majesty. . . . Cooper's scholarship is eloquently presented, exquisitely illustrated, and extremely detailed."—Erica L. Westhoff, Comitatus

"Ambitious, penetrating. . . . At last, we have a sustained study that rigorously situated the influential architect within cinquecento Venice's considerable cultural tumult. . . . An invaluable interdisciplinary contribution to Venetian studies. It will find appreciative audiences among students of Renaissance Venice's architecture, ecclesiastical history, and, to a lesser degree, its art. This book will take years for scholars to process and decades to become dated."—Arthur J. Di Furia, Sixteenth Century Journal

“… adds revealing documentation and fresh interpretations … is original and persuasive … The book is handsomely produced and lavishly illustrated … Cooper’s approach […] is distinguished by its meticulous reconstruction of the institutions and individuals who sought to convey messages and achieve distinction through imposing buildings … should […] be a model for future studies in the field.” - James S. Ackerman, Annali di Architettura

Selected as a 2007 AAUP University Press Book for Public and Secondary School Libraries.

Received an honorable mention for the 2006 Premio Salimbeni

Winner of the Renaissance Society of America's 2007 Phyllis Gordan Prize
ISBN: 9780300105827
Publication Date: June 30, 2006
352 pages, 10 x 11 1/2
100 b/w + 80 color illus.