Thursday, March 26, 2009


In this unit, one of the main topics was the idea of a Duomo. A duomo, translating to an Italian cathedral, was usually seen as the chief landmark and often placed in the center of the city. “The street plan of Milan,” for example, had “streets either radiating from the Duomo or circling it, [indicating] that the Duomo occupied the most important site in the ancient Roman city of Mediolanum" (Duomo). Being placed in the center of the city, the duomo was often thought as to be a symbol for the city and what potential it had to become in the future. Connecting with the idea of the duomo is the notion of heaven and earth. Cathedrals were built around the idea of a connection between the heavens and the earth utilizing ornamentation, paintings, and basic forms of architecture seen throughout the churches.

One of the major time periods that influenced design is the Renaissance. Some major concepts that led to the start of the Renaissance were the rebirth of antiquity, the rebirth of individualism and humanism, the rediscovery of the natural world, and the glorification of the state as a work of art. With the idea of rebirth and rejuvenation amongst the city, patronage became a big part of the society as people donated money to build up the surrounding area. The Renaissance introduced the idea of patronage as a source of funding for the city and also served as the introduction of private money, the rise of the merchant class, and humanism. Some other things that changed from the medieval thirteenth century to the fourteenth century during the Renaissance were forms of housing, concern with images, the church, and distribution of power.

As the concepts of the Renaissance continued into the following years, villas became more popular as a ‘get-a-way’ home on the countryside. These villas were away from the chaos of the city and were usually very extravagant. Not only were these ‘weekend houses’ a place for the wealthy to get away, but it also opened up new jobs for people. Most of these villas invested a lot of their wealth into the land, which helped to feed the city due to its vast farmland.

Associated with the counter-reformation, the era of Baroque design took many of its designs from emotion and tended to incorporate emotion into new designs as well. “From the Mannerist style the Baroque inherited movement and fervent emotion, and from the Renaissance style solidity and grandeur, fusing the two influences into a new and dynamic whole" (Baroque).

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