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Video transcript

just a few years after the Medici palace was completed and only a few blocks away one of the other wealthiest families in Florence built a palace well there's a home in Palace building after the Medici built their palace and so we're looking at the Palazzo ruchi lie whose architect is the famous Albert II now Albert II was a brilliant humanist he wrote an important book on architecture in addition to his famous book on painting Albert he's on architecture is probably the most important treatise on architecture after the ten books of architecture by the ancient Roman Vitruvius right which had only been discovered a few decades earlier so there's this whole revival of ancient Roman architecture and we see that a little bit in the Medici Pass but we see it really here in the rich life house by Albert II what's fascinating is that Albert II is looking back to Vitruvius is ancient work seeing this standardized vocabulary and employing it in a self-conscious way that is announcing its historicism announcing it's looking back to ancient Roman architecture Alberti had been in Rome he had studied ancient Roman architecture and the classicism is not coming through only in the individual elements but also in the emphasis on measure and harmony giovanni rutila came from a wealthy florentine family of wool manufacturers like most wealthy Florentines that's how they made their money at this particular moment in florentine history it was important that rule I expressed his loyalty to the Medici family Albert II was clearly referencing the Medici palace and you can see that in the organization of the facade into three primary stories but there are also really important differences and you can see that especially in the masonry for example this building is much more delicate God is that heavy dark rusticated masonry that we saw in the earlier building right that gave the impression of the Medici palace as being almost like a fortress and recalling the Palazzo Vecchio this building feels much more intellectual in its geometry its lightness its sense of the cerebral so we see more classical elements here than we saw in the Medici palace we have plasters rounded our chisel that we did see that also in the Medici palace but in between the stories instead of just a string course we have a classical entablature which gives us a sense of horizontality and which is filled with decorative patterns between the ground floor in the first floor we see the Medici device of a diamond ring with three feathers coming out of it and between the second floor and the third floor we see a device of the rich life family of a sail that appears to be blowing in the wind you start at the bottom just like the Medici Palace there are benches on the ground floor which is an invitation for the citizens of the city to come and rest so the ground floor very much feels like the ground floor it has a sense of weightiness that comes from that diamond pattern and as you move up the facade there are three sets of blasters each with different capitals at the bottom you see variations of the Tuscan traditions are the simplest heaviest above that a form of the ionic and then at the top Corinthian and we see that differentiation of orders also if we go to the Colosseum in Rome where at the bottom we have the Tuscan the middle story is decorated with the ionic order at the top with the Corinthian so Elbert is clearly looking at ancient Roman architecture but the building's emphasis is not vertical even though you've got the plasters moving from top to bottom because those blasters are interrupted by these very elaborate entablatures that really emphasize the horizontality the grounded quality of the building now the building was never finished about two-thirds of what Alberti intended is there and you can see it's unfinished on the right side and so there would have been a third entrance Alberti did more than simply the facade the structure was remodeled on the inside joining a number of pre-existing independent structures now Alberti mean also have designed the loggia that is caddy corner to the Palazzo to the palace this is an open space with round arches beautiful columns with corinthian capitals and plasters on the interior while also very classicizing and this low jame in fact have been built to commemorate a wedding between a member of the medici family and the rutila families our joining of these two powerful Florentine families actually it's important to note that it's no longer an open loggia it's now got a glass covering and it's actually a shoe store but originally it would have been an in space that would have protected people as they walked through and reminds us that even the palace is seen as a kind of civic good that this was adding to the beauty and the harmony of the city well we can see the building of the Palazzo of the large of this Piazza in front as part of the beautification of the city that happened in the 15th century that civic pride that led the people of Florence to be interested in beautifying their city with great works of sculpture and architecture so here in the middle of the 15th century in the center of Florence we have this invention of what humanism looks like applied to domestic architecture
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