(b. 1444, Fermignano, d. 1514, Roma)

Interior view

Cloister, Santa Maria della Pace, Rome

Bramante fostered connections with those members of the papal circle with Spanish affiliations, such as Cardinal Oliviero Carafa, who supplied him with his first major Roman commission in 1500, the cloister at Santa Maria della Pace (completed 1504). In some respects the design still relies on the formal vocabulary of his previous works: the pilasters on the courtyard side articulating the piers of the lower storey are raised upon pedestals, the subordinate pilaster-strips under the groin-vaulted arcades lack capitals, and the trabeated upper storey, which is not particularly tall, has a doubled rhythm.

The square plan with four bays to each side is based on the module of a single bay measured from the centres of the pilasters, so that the pilasters in the corners appear only as thin fillets, as in Brunelleschi's Old Sacristy at San Lorenzo, Florence. The pilasters of the lower storey have Ionic capitals, the conventional choice for a cloister, and those above have Composite capitals, which complement the Ionic ones with their volutes; the additional supports between the piers at this level are slender columns with less ornamental Corinthian capitals. The corbels in the frieze above, which derive from the top storey of the Colosseum, add suitable weight to the terminal entablature.

The picture shows the cloister.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.