Farnese Palace
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Architect Antonio da Sangallo
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Location Rome, Italy   map
Date 1534   timeline
Building Type palace, large house
 Construction System cut stone masonry
Climate mediterranean
Context urban
Style Italian Renaissance
Notes Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. Rectangular plan around courtyard. Palazzo Farnesse.


Photo, public facade

Photo, courtyard facade

Photo, public facade


Axonometric Drawing


Section Drawing


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Discussion Farnese Palace Commentary

"Palazzo Farnese, Rome, is the most imposing Italian palace of the sixteenth century. The 56 m (185 ft) façade, occupying the longer side of a spacious piazza, is three storeys tall (recalling Florentine palaces) and thirteen bays wide. It is built of brick with strong stone quoins and has a heavily rusticated portal. Each storey has different window frames (alternating pediments for the piano nobile) placed in dense rows against the flat neutral wall surface, which enhances the sense of scale. The crowning cornice was substantially enlarged by Michelangelo (who also designed the window over the portal) and casts a heavier shadow onto the façade than that envisaged by Sangallo. Sangallo's spectacular three-aisled vestibule (c. 1520-), inspired for example by Roman nymphaea, with its central barrel vault supported on Doric columns, is notable for the sculptural quality of surface."

— Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. p873.


The palazzo was begun in 1517, redesigned 1534 and 1541, modified under Michelangelo from 1546, and completed 1589.

— details from Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. p873.


Piazza Farnesse, on Vicolo de' Venti.

Sources on Farnese Palace

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. two squares diagram, p187. place-at-center diagram, p198. concentricity diagram, p203. — Updated edition available at Amazon.com

James Stevens Curl. Classical Architecture: an introduction to its vocabulary and essentials, with a select glossary of terms. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992. ISBN 0-442-30896-5. NA260.C87. exterior photo from across plaza, f4.24, p79.

Howard Davis. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD .0218. PCD.2260.1012.1537.014. PCD.2260.1012.1537.013.

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. Boston: Butterworths, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. NA200.F63 1987. discussion p873. — The classic text of architectural history. Expanded 1996 edition available at Amazon.com

Sir Banister Fletcher. Sir Banister Fletcher's A History of Architecture. 18th ed., revised by J.C. Palmes. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1975. ISBN 684-14207-4. NA200.F63. description, p822. drawings, p826.

Henry A. Millon. Key Monuments of the History of Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams. LC 64-10764. NA202.M5. plan drawing of plaza, p335.

Peter Murray. Architecture of the Renaissance. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1971. ISBN 8109-1000-4. LC 70-149850. NA510.M87. worm's eye axonometric drawing, f262, p177.

Ludwig G. Heydenreich and Wolfgang Lotz. Architecture in Italy 1400 to 1600. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1974. ISBN 14-0560.38-6. NA1115.H4913. section drawing of vestibule, fig63, p201.

Alene Stickles, University of Oregon. Slide from photographer's collection, August 1993. PCD.3189.1011.1916.067

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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