VIGNOLA, Giacomo da
(b. 1507, Vignola, Bologna, d. 1573, Roma)


Italian architect, his real name was Giacomo Barozzi. He was one of the foremost late Renaissance architects in Italy, who, with Andrea Palladio and Giulio Romano, dominated Italian Mannerist architectural design and stylistically anticipated the Baroque.

Appointed (1550) papal architect to Pope Julius III, he spent his later life in Rome, where most of his important works are found. After Michelangelo's death, Vignola succeeded him as architect in charge of the work on St. Peter's. His finest productions are the Villa Caprarola, near Viterbo, for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, and the beautiful Villa Giulia for Pope Julius III in Rome.

As designer of the interior (1568) of the Church of the Gesù, in Rome, mother church of the Jesuit order, he developed a plan that greatly influenced ecclesiastical architecture. In the Gesù he combined the longitudinal axis of medieval churches with the central domical scheme of the Renaissance. His designs for the facade of the Gesù were rejected in favour of those by Giacomo della Porta.

Vignola is universally known for his treatise (1562) on the five orders of architecture (Regole delli cinque ordini d'architettura, first published in 1562). Based upon the work of Vitruvius, it undertook to formulate definite and minute rules for proportioning the classical orders appearing in the buildings of the Romans. This work, which has been in continuous use, has been scrupulously adhered to by many as an almost inviolable authority.

His second published book, the posthumously-published Due regole della prospettiva pratica (Two rules of practical perspective, Bologna 1583) which favours one-point perspective rather than two point methods such as the bifocal construction.

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