Project XL (fols. 42v-44r)

The last project for the countryside was evidently designed by Serlio as a final virtuoso and classical ‘invention’ for the first part of the book, almost a prelude to the ‘fêtes galantes’ characterising the Court of the last of the Valois. It is symptomatic that Cataneo also ended his treatise (contemporary with Books VI and VII) with a circular palace. The only interesting feature of this villa/amphitheatre is the adoption of the oval form, derived (according to Lotz) from Peruzzi’s theoretical studies to which Serlio gave an albeit elementary geometrical definition. The scheme of an oval building set within rectangular buildings reappears in two projects in Book VII.

In the large sala for celebrations, to one side of the entrance atrium, Serlio set (to the rear on the side closest to the internal courtyard) a sort of small stage, clearly separated from the guards and also the pages, above which was to protrude the gallery for the musicians. This is the first instance of the arrangement of the typical Baroque sala, and it is perfectly matched by the gallery for the musicians in the lower ‘salon’ of Lescot’s Louvre, supported by Goujon’s famous caryatids (commissioned in 1550).



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