Year of Palladio

Civic Architecture : Public Building

Teatro Olimpico

The Teatro Olimpico, begun in 1580, is most commonly considered Palladio’s last building. The Teatro is especially important because it is the first indoor theater to revive the ancient tradition of providing permanent stage seating for the audience: it is Palladio’s interpretation of the ancient Roman Theater. “Palladio and many of his contemporaries were fascinated by ancient theaters and amphitheaters. Palladio knew those of Verona and Pola firsthand.” (Reed, p. 79) The statues that decorate the interior of the Teatro are the likenesses of the members of the Olympic Academy, a group of Vicentine nobles and intellectuals who commissioned the theater twenty-four years after its founding in 1556. (Beltramini, p. 101)

Additional Reading

Andrea Palladio by Stephen R. Wassell

Additional Public Buildings