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The Perfect House: A Journey with the Renaissance Master Andrea Palladio
— —
Witold Rybczynski
The Perfect House: A Journey with the Renaissance Master Andrea Palladio by Witold Rybczynski at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Perfect House: A Journey with the Renaissance Master Andrea Palladio

Witold Rybczynski


9780743221399

Scribner


Art & Architecture;
History of art & design styles: c 1400 to c 1600;
History of art & design styles: c 1600 to c 1800;
Individual architects & architectural firms;
Residential buildings, domestic buildings


Paperback

320 pages

$20.95
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Renaissance master Andrea Palladio's architectural DNA can be seen on modern-day icons from Buckingham Palace to the White House, from numerous English stately homes to Virginian plantation houses. In THE PERFECT HOUSE Witold Rybczynski travels along the Brenta River in north-eastern Italy to experience the surviving original Palladian villas for himself. He sets out to discover how a rustic sixteenth-century stonemason, born Andrea di Pietro, first had to become 'cultured' before he could be one of the most respected architects of all time, and how Palladio managed to bring the elegance of Ancient Rome to the Venetian countryside. Out of the chaos of hired cars and cheap flights, towns packed with 'Ristoranti Palladio' and herds of tourists, Rybczynski savours moments of epiphany as he contemplates Palladio's perfect houses. Part travelogue, part historical biography, part architectural guide, THE PERFECT HOUSE is a delightful and enlightening exploration of the birth of domestic architecture and the man who spawned it.

By:   Witold Rybczynski
Imprint:   Scribner
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   New edition
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 22mm
ISBN:   9780743221399
ISBN 10:   0743221397
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   November 2003
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Witold Rybczynski was born in Edinburgh, raised in Surrey and attended Jesuit schools in England and Canada. He is an architect and Professor of Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of several books and his exploration of domestic comfort, HOME, has been translated into eight languages.


This book takes the reader on a tour of ten villas built by Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. Palladio's buildings married the influences of civilized Roman antiquity with the functional rusticana of 16th-century Italian country estates; they were so loved by Goethe that he wrote of them: 'there is something divine about his talent... comparable to the power of a great poet'. Their impression on the history of architecture has been vast (Buckingham Palace and the White House are both obviously Palladian), their impression on Rybczynski even more so: he extols the virtues of these perfectly formed dwellings with infectious zeal. One might think that a book describing the form and construction of what are, essentially, fairly unremarkable Italian homesteads would be massively uninteresting - and one would be right, were it not for the ease with which Rybczynski evokes the time, place, and, most importantly, subtle perfection of Palladio's work. This is done most effectively by the absence of photographs: the reader is encouraged to flesh out original plans with the aid of Rybczynski's competent prose and sketches. The buildings are thus presented in terms of increasing complexity: first, a plan; a brief description; next, a wandering discourse on rooms, levels, materials, construction; and, finally, the embellishments - the frescoes and friezes. All of this is helped by a glossary of architectural terms, which though not completely comprehensive is certainly robust. The book is emphatically not a biography of the architect; rather, it is an attempt to identify that which Goethe so admired: an excellence that has caused these 16th-century villas to be echoed in some of the grandest structures of modern times. One thing is for certain: after reading this book, you'll spot Palladian buildings everywhere. (Kirkus UK)

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