SANGALLO, Antonio da, the Elder
(b. ca. 1455, Firenze, d. 1534, Firenze)

Palazzo Tarugi: Façade

c. 1515
Piazza Grande, Montepulciano

Montepulciano, a Cinquecento cultural centre in spite of its small size, is lined with palaces by major architects, including several by or attributed to Antonio da Sangallo the Elder. The most original of these is the Palazzo Tarugi, which has two façades fronting on the principal piazza opposite the cathedral. Antonio made each façade roughly symmetrical, but he varied the articulation to introduce an open corner arcade on the ground floor and an open loggia (now walled in) on the top floor. In a reversal of the traditional pattern, the lower story is Ionic, the upper Doric. The Ionic columns of the ground story, perched on lofty podia, rise to embrace the piano nobile as well, an early example of the giant order later used by Michelangelo.