Project XXII-XXIII (fols. 21v-23r)

The drawings on fol.23r are erroneously labelled as Project XXXIII.

This is a 'variant' of the preceding project, with some concessions on the plan to French taste, even though the whole is framed by the most classical and Italian symmetry. The centralised square plan is replaced by a deep rectangular one, articulated round the setting forward of the circular internal courtyard and along the three axes

of rooms going to the back of the building (that is, the two runs of apartments at the sides and a central axis of atria of different lengths which is of such importance to the author that he gives the longitudinal section). This is a scheme which is found frequently in Palladio.

The elevation of the fašade - even more than the preceding project - is evocative of Michelangelo's designs for S. Lorenzo, above all in the two bare and severe corner blocks terminating the building with aedicules. The lower portico is copied straight from the front portico of Palazzo del Te, and my remarks on Project XII concerning arches on paired columns with architraves are confirmed here. Giulio Romano's model is repeated in its entirety, that is in tetrastyle blocks and not simply in groups of paired columns. Furthermore, such an arrangement fits its application here, not to a long portico with a prevalent two-dimensional rhythm but to quite a deep (the ratio is 1:8, including the large niches at the sides), cross-vaulted atrium, also supporting two storeys of solid wall.

This debt to Giulio Romano is also perceptible in the villa's most original motif, the rear cryptoportico supporting a terrace. The exemplar is without doubt the substructures of Villa Madama illustrated in Book IV but there is also a clear reference to the lower storey of the 'Cortile della Cavalerizza' of the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua. Even the apparently unimportant detail of the keystone which is 'falling', thus breaking the profile of the arches, is a clear homage to the anticlassicism of Giulio Romano. The same motif (with its strikingly heretical feel, particularly with reference to the pretended static nature of the building) appears again in the Villa dei Vescovi in Luvigliano by Falconetto. I noted in chapter II that this crytoportico is more or less contemporary with, if not anterior to, De l'Orme's analogous solution on the rear of the corps-de-logis at Anet, started in 1547, although De l'Orme's is richer in its formal inspiration.



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