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we're high up on hill overlooking Rome one of the seven hills of Rome imagina coulomb hill in a small courtyard looking at Vermont they is small but important building the temp yet this is one of the treasures of Rome and it's actually one of my favorite buildings in the entire world it's tiny in fact I'm not even sure I feel comfortable calling it a building it's a marker the Tempietto marks the site of the crucifixion of st. Peter or what Bramante and the church thought was the site of the crucifixion of st. Peter right in fact if you go inside there's a hole that marks the spot in the ground where the cross was placed st. Peter was crucified upside down so by marking this site by making such a beautiful structure here the church is in a way saying the office of the papacy goes back to st. Peter the very first pope who got that job from Christ himself it's interesting that it's Bramante who's designing this space because brumonti will also be one of the principal architects responsible for the other major site in Rome that is associated with Saint Peter the Basilica of San Pietro in Vatican the site where Peter was buried and so both of these become markers but this is a tiny little structure where of course st. Peters is enormous yes and this looks back to a kind of early Christian building called a martyria or a marker of the site associated with a early Christian martyr those were round buildings and it's interesting that Vermont is borrowing both from that early Christian tradition but also borrowing directly from antiquity and in fact in Rome itself if you go to the forum you can see a small round temple to Vesta which is not so dissimilar from this in fact it's surrounded by columns that's right both ancient Greeks and the ancient Romans employed the circular plan and so Bramante is very consciously going back to those he's consciously going back to the ancient Roman writer for true vyas who wrote a great treatise on architecture and on correct proportions in architecture which Bramante is really following here in the Tempietto brumonti really is in love with ideal geometries of antiquity of ancient Greece this building is a radio building it's a round structure it's very much unlike the traditional cruciform Church which is based on the ancient Basilica and it's interesting because Bramante also used a kind of ideal geometry in the other building we were talking about in st. Peter's Basilica which was originally a perfect cross right it was a Greek cross employing the circle and the square and this interest in pure geometric forms is something that we really see in the high Renaissance let's talk about that relationship between ideal ancient geometry and the divine because I think that was really important at this moment that we call the high Renaissance if you draw a circle no matter how good an artist you are it's always going to have some imperfections but looking at that circle we can be prompted to imagine something where there's no deviation where there's no imperfection and so geometry was thought by the ancient Greeks and again in the Renaissance to be a vehicle by which we could imagine the perfection of heaven and so Bramante is like many other artists of the high Renaissance is really interested in this pure circular plan and here of course the focus of this circle is that important site of the crucifixion of st. Peter as we look up at this building we have the steps on the stylobate that lead us up toward the circular colonnade the cylinder or the drum and then the dome on top so we really have this focus on a center and that would have been even more true Vermont ahead designed to the Courtyard as he wanted to with a colonnade around it one can imagine the amplification if this was surrounded by yet another colonnade with a series of radial niches there would have been a kind of conversation between this space or around the building and the central structure itself that I think would have been unprecedented all of those elements that you mentioned the style about the steps the colonnade and of course the dome are all elements that come from antiquity and the artist was really careful to get these things right if you look at the columns themselves this is the Doric order but it's not the Doric that we see from ancient Greece not what we would see on the Parthenon this is a Roman variant instead it's called the Tuscan order and we can see columns like this embedded in the side of the first level of the Colosseum where unlike the Greek Doric order these columns are not fluted so they have even more of a sense of mass and solidity and true to the Doric order we see triglyphs and metope sand the frieze just above the columns so Bramante is really capturing an authentic Doric order here although he does sometimes allow for some variation for instance the Greeks and the Romans would not have inside the colonnade put plasters that pair with the columns these were maximizing the radial quality by aligning the true columns with the false columns all right so there's a real rhythm that Bramante is creating here and what makes this so high Renaissance to me is its grandeur even though it's a small there's a real sense of monumentality and in a way this is the architectural equivalent of Michelangelo's figures in the Sistine Chapel a real sense of the heroic looking back to classical antiquity and celebrating a kind of humanism there is a kind of self assurance in the high Renaissance this idea that man can actually produce exemplars on earth of the perfection of the heavenly and even though this is such a small building I think it's money mentality comes from its great ambition you