L'Idea della Architettura

Author Vincenzo Scamozzi Italian
Printer Giorgio Valentino Italian

Not on view

The most important of Palladio's immediate followers, Vincenzo Scamozzi not only published an influential architectural treatise but also designed some outstanding villas. One of these, Rocco Pisani near Lonigo (1576), was meant to improve upon the Villa Rotonda, which Scamozzi completed after Palladio's death. Much involved with the codification of architectural principles and academic-theoretical detail, Scamozzi published here his version of the diagram of the "Vitruvian Man," which had such a strong appeal for the Renaissance architect and is familiar to us in the image drawn by Leonardo da Vinci. The diagram, showing a man with extended hands and feet fitting exactly within the circle and the square, was meant to demonstrate the ideal proportion of the human figure as it relates to the two most perfect geometric forms and, ultimately, to the universe. Demonstrating the reason why all architects should pattern their work accordingly, this concept of ideal human proportion, or divina proportione, was indeed applied in Renaissance villa design.

L'Idea della Architettura, Vincenzo Scamozzi (Italian, 1548–1616), Printed book with engraved and woodcut illustrations

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p. 40, Diagram of "Vitruvian Man," showing the use of human proportions used in villa architecture.