Year of Palladio

Museums

It is not surprising that many of our most impressive classical works are art museums. Though rendered in Greek rather than Roman orders, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, by Horace Trumbauer, follows Palladioís principles for siting a temple in a city. In Book Four he wrote:

ìBut we… should choose sites for temples in the most dignified and prestigious part of the city, far away from unsavory areas and on beautiful and ornate squares where many streets end, so that every part of the temple can be seen in all its majesty and arouse devotion and awe in whoever sees and admires it. And if there are hills in the city, one should choose the highest part…î (Figure 72)

Situated on an Acropolis-like promontory above the Schuylkill River and the historic Waterworks complex, and terminating a great boulevard, the Franklin Parkway, the Philadelphia Museum is the consummate temple of art. Also among museums, we might add the great hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York _. Its lofty vaults and domes suggest Palladioís section for what we now know is the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine. Nor can we speak of great classical museums without mentioning John Russell Popeís National Gallery of Art, on the Mall of the nationís capital. Its interior dome supported by a circular peristyle of black-green marble columns captures the spirit of the Roman imperium _(Figure 75). Pope embellished his more diminutive Baltimore Museum of Art with an interior courtyard recalling Palladioís design for what he termed an Egyptian Hall, illustrated in Book Two of The Four Books (Figure 76 and Figure 77).

Figure 72
Figure 72
Figure 73
Figure 73
Figure 74
Figure 74
Figure 75
Figure 75
Figure 76
Figure 76
Figure 77
Figure 77

Educational Buildings | Museums | Churches

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