Arquitectura Viva
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Private Palladio

José Antonio Flores
This English edition of the Italian original is a gem of a book because of its size, its presentation, the quality of the paper used and the caliber of the images included. A warning, though: it is not, as one would assume, a book about architecture.

The title is ambiguous and deceiving. In just a hundred pages that read fast and entertainingly, Guido Beltramini does not talk about the private commissions of Andrea Palladio: palaces, villas, domestic architecture. What then? And why is it of interest? The book is not even about the architect’s work, so well known, but about his private life. It is a serious, well-grounded inquiry into his origins, family circumstances, education and professional ups and downs, and even into continued doubts surrounding his death and place of burial.

Beltramini also addresses Palladio’s historic and social context, dwelling with gusto on his marriage, his children – two of whom seem to have been involved in criminal and heretic affairs – and money matters. Questions arise. What for all this? If it is his oeuvre that matters, why look at his private life? Is one’s work determined by private life? Is it better or worse on account of it?

Beltramini seems to offer an answer towards the end of the book, justifying one’s having read it: Palladio and most of his clients believed in architecture’s transformative power: through it, the world and its inhabitants could improve. The rest, as Hamlet put it, may be silence.

Guido Beltramini
The private Palladio
Lars Müller Publisher, Baden, 2012
108 páginas


AV Monografías 227_228 - CASAS EN DETALLE AV Monographs
analyzes in each issue a theme related to a city, a country, a tendency or an architect, with articles by leading specialists complemented by commentary on works and projects illustrated in detail. Published bilingually, with Spanish and English texts placed side by side.
Arquitectura Viva 228 - JOSÉ MARÍA SÁNCHEZ Arquitectura Viva
covers current topics, taking stock of recent trends in set sections: cover story, works and projects, art and culture, books, technique and innovation. From 2013 on, monthly and bilingual, with Spanish and English texts printed side by side.
AV Proyectos 100 - MAD ARCHITECTS AV Proyectos
is the third member of the AV family: a bilingual publication essentially focussed on design projects (with special attention on competitions and construction details), heretofore only laterally dealt with in the other two magazines.
Arquitectura Viva SL - Calle de Aniceto Marinas, 32 - E-28008 Madrid, España - Ph: (+34) 915 487 317 - Fax: (+34) 915 488 191 -
Política de cookies - Aviso Legal - Condiciones de contratación - RSS