FIORAVANTI, Aristotele
(b. ca. 1417, Bologna, d. ca. 1485, Moscow)

Exterior view

1480s
Photo
Palazzo del Podestà, Bologna

Fioravanti designed the new façade of the Gothic Palazzo del Podestà. He prepared a model in 1472, but the execution was delayed until 1484-94.

The façade, one of the most innovative and overtly all'antica designs of the 15th century, faces San Petronio and dominates Bologna's main square. It is organized as two storeys: a massive ground storey arcade rusticated with faceted masonry (each block embellished with a rosette) and articulated with Corinthian half columns, and an upper storey set back to allow for a balcony arranged with round-arched windows and ornamental Corinthian pilasters. The immediate model for the façade, which recalls such imperial prototypes as the Colosseum, was undoubtedly the Benediction Loggia (early 1460s; destroyed) in front of Old St Peter's, Rome, which was still under construction when Fioravanti was called to Rome in 1471.