Classical Architecture



The architecture of classical antiquity was an inspiration for the architects who ushered in the Italian Renaissance, such as Filippo Brunelleschi. One architect who would greatly influence the classicist architectural style was Andrea Palladio (1508-1580). Palladianism would continue to be imitated, especially in England, well into the 18th century. In classicist architecture, fixed proportions in the composition are applied and the column, the pilaster and the pediment are the most important building elements.

Villa Almerico Capra 'La Rotonda' by Andrea Palladio and Vincenzo Scamozzi in 1571.
Villa Almerico Capra 'La Rotonda' by Andrea Palladio and Vincenzo Scamozzi in 1571.
Villa Almerico Capra 'La Rotonda' from I quattro libri dell'architettura di Andrea Palladio (Book 2, page 19).
Villa Almerico Capra 'La Rotonda' from I quattro libri dell'architettura di Andrea Palladio (Book 2, page 19).
ClassicistORG - The Foundations of Classical Architecture: Greek Classicism
ClassicistORG - The Foundations of Classical Architecture: Roman Classicism

Five Classical Orders

Sebastiano Serlio was the first to canonize the five Classical orders, which is a prime example of classical architectural theory.

The five classical orders of columns are the most important system of division in ancient and modern architecture from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century. In terms of building history, the term order always refers to a system of vertical structural elements with a base and capital. Consequently, it is to be formally distinguished from pillar or other support constructions.


The common theme of the five column orders is the relationship of column to entablature, mediation and logical relationship between the structural elements and their integration into the overall design of a building. The various details developed from this task were also applied to pillar and arch systems as early as antiquity, a development that continued fruitfully in modern times.

According to the understanding of the Renaissance, the five orders of pillars build on each other and, in their entirety, represent an image of the hierarchically ordered world. Approaches to this hierarchisation - without a world-interpretative view - were, however, already familiar to classical antiquity.

The Five Classical Orders of architecture are:

  1. Tuscan
  2. Doric
  3. Ionic
  4. Corinthian
  5. Composite
The Five Classical Orders of architecture by Sebastiano Serlio.
The Five Classical Orders of architecture by Sebastiano Serlio.

Characteristics of Classicist Buildings

Classicist buildings had a simple main form and good proportions. These would contribute to the balance of man and building. You can recognise a Classicist building by its symmetrical façade and layout, pilasters, a triangular pediment above the windows and a central apse, or façade that protrudes slightly. A classicist building is often reminiscent of a temple.

ClassicistORG - New Light on the Orders, with George Saumarez Smith
ClassicistORG - The Foundations of Classical Architecture: Classical Design Principles

Important Architects

Important master builders of the classicist baroque are the Italian Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the French Louis Le Vau, Claude Perrault and Jules Hardouin-Mansart and the British Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor and John Vanbrugh

National Aspects

Dutch Classical Architecture

In the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, Dutch Classicism had its heyday from 1625 to 1665. Important architects included Jacob van Campen, Pieter Post, Daniel Stalpaert and Philips and Justus Vingboons.

French Classical Architecture

French classical architecture is the result of admiration and inspiration from Antiquity. It was invented to enhance the glory of Louis XIV and then spread throughout Europe. This architecture became a reflection of the power of the French king abroad.


The aesthetics of this architecture is close to the Greek and Roman canons recognised as ideal references. It also drew on elements of the Renaissance.

Classical architecture is characterised by a rational study of the proportions inherited from Antiquity and by the search for symmetrical compositions. Noble and simple lines are sought, as well as balance and sobriety in the decoration, the aim being that the details respond to the whole. It represents an ideal of order and reason.

The influence of castles such as Versailles (Louis Le Vau, François II d'Orbay, Jules Hardouin-Mansart), the Grand Trianon (Jules Hardouin-Mansart) or Vaux-le-Vicomte (Louis Le Vau) is at the origin of the influence of this architecture abroad.


Media

Visit our media section for a complete overview.



Keywords

Andrea Palladio
Baroque
Classical Antiquity
Classical Period
Classicism
Dutch Classicism
Klassizismus
Literary Classicism
Neo-Classicism
Palladianism
Renaissance

Cite

DeepDove: Style Network (2021-09-21). Classicism | Classical Architecture. Retrieved , from

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This page was last changed on 2021-09-21.