THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE. Italy had seen some large Gothic monuments: monastic churches, such as Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella in Florence, and the Frari in Venice; cathedrals, such as Siena and Milan (q.v. for illustration) ; but Italian artists were ripe for the Renaissance style founded by Brunelleschi and his followers early in the Fifteenth Century, a style based on the study of Roman monuments adapted to mediaeval needs. The new style employed the dome very successfully in its churches, but it was preeminently a decorative and not a constructive style, and, like the Roman architecture which it followed, found its best expression in civil not in religious monuments. Single artists stamped their works with a special style. Brunelleschi, Alberti, Bramante, Sanso•ino, Michelangelo, Pal ladio, are not merely names—they are types. The Roman scheme of using the constructive arch within a decorative framework of pilasters or columns and architrave became a Renaissance commonplace. The palaces and civic buildings of Florence, Rome, Venice. Lombardy, Genoa (for illustration see these titles), represent the essen tial features of the style rather than such churches as those of Santo Spirito at such Italian cities as Florence. Mantua. Loreto, Saint Peter's at Rome, La Salute at Venice. Although early Renaissance decoration is so exquisitely delicate, the heaviness and size of its details grew to be a characteristic. The imitation of classic style was at first not complete; Alberti aimed at it, but it did not reach its cold perfection until Palladio, just before the opposite school of fan tastic irfegularity, called the Barocco, came to the front before the close of the Sixteenth Cen tury. The style was at first almost entirely in
the hands of Florentine artists, who introduced it everywhere; then the Lombards took the lead under Bramante, with a branch in Venice; finally the Roman school, with Michelangelo, Raphael, Vignola, and many others, obtained supremacy. Meanwhile the new style was spread ing over Europe, where it first blended with and then superseded Gothic. This occupied nearly the entire Sixteenth Century, for although it penetAted to France about 1500, it did not obtain national foothold in Germany until about 1550, or in England much before 1600. In none of these countries was it used in its original purity, being everywhere affected by national peculiarities. The most artistic changes were those in France, whose château architecture, especially in the Loire region and near Paris, produced masterpieces of composition worthy of comparison with the best Italian work. Blois, Chambord, the Louvre, the Tuileries, the Luxem bourg, and Versailles form an unsurpassed series. For illustrations of the Louvre, the Luxembourg. and Versailles, see these titles.
Germany was more foreign to the •lassiespirit: and the percentage I lerl• and in England of purely classic design was much smaller than in Italy or France. German art. even at the Heidelberg Schloss, was too finical and harocque; English art, as soon as under inigo .Jones it had shaken oft all remnants of civil Gothic, adopted an ex tremely pure Palladian Renaissance, as at White hall and Saint Paul's, but this soon passed into a more picturesque style, as at Blenheim.