Piazza San Marco inspired by the classical structure of the Colosseum of Rome

Oct 16, 2019

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Shortly after settling in Venice, Sansovino was appointed to rebuild Piazza San Marco, which was a huge square against the San Marco church. In 1536 he created a model for a new library on the south side of Piazza, or Open Square, inspired by the classical structure of the Colosseum of Rome, which included the regular basis of the superimposed Orders. The flexibility of this design, similar modules that can be repetitive, are reflected in the history of San Marco's library. The first seven mines were opened after the end of 1546. Subsequently, between 1551 and 1554, seven more were added, and in 1589, two more additions were made to provide office space after almost two decades of the architect's death.

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Drawing on the previous experience as a sculptor, Sansovino has enriched expanded spandrel figures and putti and garlands. The statues emphasize the horizontal direction of the roofed bull shield building on regular intervals. While Michelangelo never saw the library, he re-interpreted his powerful classical elements on the new part of Rome's Palazzo dei Conservatori. The library also had a strong influence on the young architect of Vicenza, Andrea Palladio, who declared it "the richest and most weird" building since antiquity.