Andrea Palladio (November 30, 1508 – August 19, 1580), or Andrea di Pietro della Gondola, was an architect born in Padua, Italy. Apprenticed as a stonecutter in Padua when he was 13, he broke his contract after only 18 months and fled to the nearby town of Vicenza. In Vicenza, he became an assistant in the leading workshop of stonecutters and masons.
The Palladian style is named after him, a style which adhered to classical Roman principles, as opposed to the rich ornamentation of the Renaissance. Palladio designed many churches, villas, and palaces, especially in Venice and the surrounding area.
His style became fashionable all over Europe. In Britain, Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren embraced the Palladian style. Another admirer was the architect Richard Boyle, 4th Earl of Cork, also known as Lord Burlington, who, with William Kent, designed Chiswick House. Later exponents of his work who helped to popularize Palladio's concepts included the 18th century Venetian architect Giacomo Leoni who published an authoritative four volume work on Palladio and his architectural concepts.
Palladio's architecture also inspired a classical music piece by the Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, called Palladio. Many people know it by its first movement, which was used for a De Beers diamond television commercial.
Palladio was the son of Pietro 'della gondola'. He frequented the workshop of Bartolomeo Cavazza, from whom he learned some of his skills. The most important influence was by the noble Gian Giorgio Trissino, who invented the classical name of Palladio for his friend and pupil Andrea. In 1541 Palladio went to Rome to study the ancient monuments.
- 1540: Began his first work, villa Godi in Lonedo.
- 1544: Begins construction of villa Pisani in Bagnolo.
- 1545: Involved in the refurbishment of the Basilica of Vicenza.
- 1550: He produces drawings for palazzo Chiericati.
- 1552: He began work on the palace of Iseppo De' Porti.
- 1556: In Udine he works on casa Antonini and in Vicenza begins with palazzo Thiene. While his assignments increase along with his fame, he collaborates with the patriarch of Aquileia on the edition of a book on 'Vitruvio', providing the drawings.
- 1557: He begins Villa Badoer in the Po river valley
- 1558: He realises a project for the church of S. Pietro in Castello in Venice and probably in the same year begins the construction of villa Malcontenta.
- 1559: He begins Villa Emo in the village of Fanzolo di Vedelago.
- 1561: He begins the construction of villa Pojana Maggiore and at the same time of the refettorio for the Benedictines of St. George in Venice, and subsequently the facade of the monastery Monastero per la Carità and villa Serego.
- 1562: He began the facade of San Francesco della Vigna and work on San Giorgio Maggiore.
- 1565: He begins the construction of villa Cagollo in Vicenza and villa Pisani in Montagnana.
- 1566: palazzo Valmarana, Cornaro and villa Zeno.
- 1567: Begins works for the Villa Capra "La Rotonda"
- 1570: He is nominated Proto della Serenissima (Illustrious citizen of Venice) and publishes in Venice I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura (The Four Books of Architecture).
- 1571: He realises: villa Piovene, palazzo Porto Barbaran, the loggia del Capitanio and palazzo Porto Breganze.
- 1574: He prints the 'Commentari' (commentaries) of Caesar and works on studies for the front of S. Petronio in Bologna.
- 1577: He begins the construction of the Redentore.
- 1580: He prepares drawings for the interior of the church of S. Lucia in Venice and in the same year on the 23rd of March he oversees the beginning of the construction of the Teatro Olimpico.