The Renaissance

As seen in relation to the Gothic style, the architecture of the Renaissance represents a complete break with tradition, even though the two styles coexisted for a long time. In Italy the memory of classical antiquity had never died and so it is not surprising that we should see in the early 15th century a rebirth of classical art and learning. Architects and designers sought to rediscover the essence of Roman architecture, both by looking at its monuments, and above all by studying Vitruvius's Treatise on Architecture.

The Renaissance blossomed and became a powerful artistic force, restating the significance of the module and rules of proportion, and giving new life to the classical orders. It was essentially the decorative language of antiquity that the Renaissance took as its model (Figures 1.39 and 1.40). The Renaissance produced a number of notable theoreticians, including Alberti,Serlio,Vignola and Palladio, all of whom pursued the mathematical structure of beauty by arithmetical, geometrical, and harmonic means. It was partially through their writings that the Renaissance style rapidly spread throughout Europe, while undergoing various modifications due to cultural and other differences. In France it became le style classique, whereas Italy and Germany gradually transformed it into the movement known as Baroque.

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