Vicentine architect Vincenzo Scamozzi was born on 2 September 1548 in Vicenza. His father Gian Domenico Scamozzi (c. 1526–1582) was also an architect and provided his son with the mathematical and architectural foundation. Vincenzo Scamozzi is considered as the architectural heir to Andrea Palladio, both for his conservative classicism and for his architectural theory publications. Additionally, Vincenzo completed several of Palladio’s unfinished projects, such as the Villa Rotonda and the facade of San Giorgio Maggiore.
Vincenzo’s oeuvre proves his intense interest in Palladianism. Vincenzo began his career in Vicenza, and it is most likely that he learned the fundamentals of mathematics from his father. He may have studied at the Seminario Vescovile and the Accademia Olimpica. Some scholars believe that Vincenzo’s early years of study led to his arrogant and pompous demeanor. Contemporary accounts mention his belief in his intellectual superiority. Vincenzo’s 1575 treatise was a product of a strong educational foundation.
Vincenzo’s professional training started with his father. The two architects collaborated in Vicenza on the Villa Ferramosca at Barbano, a project they finished in 1568. A drawing from this project exemplifies that Vincenzo was using Palladian techniques to execute a classical style villa.
Vincenzo wrote L’Idea dell’Architettura Universale (1615). Vincenzo’s theoretical treatise showed an interest in the varying architectural styles present in Italy and other parts of Europe where he visited. Vincenzo began his treatise in 1591. It was supposed to be made up of twelve books; he compacted them, however, to ten, and only six were eventually published by 1615. His project was ambitious, and it is the last example of the traditional Renaissance treatise writing. Vincenzo’s goal was to create and assemble all of the information on architecture within an original framework and to demonstrate an ideal methodology.
Regarding architecture, Vincenzo’s most prestigious accomplishment was the 1576 Rocca Pisani at Lonigo. For this project, he designed the building on a hilltop site; it was small in size, yet complete with one portico. Scholars consider it a version of Palladio’s Rotonda, which emphasizes his allegiance to the Palladian architecture. Vincenzo influenced Inigo Jones, whom he met in 1614 on a visit with Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel. Both Jones and Howard collected Vincenzo’s drawings. Vincenzo’s style of drawing influenced Palladianism on an international level. For example, his architecture influenced the creation of the Burlington’s Chiswick House (1725–1729). Vincenzo died in Venice in 1616 at the age of 67.
Reference: Nadia Munari. “Scamozzi.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.
Borys, Ann Marie, Vincenzo Scamozzi and the Chorography of Early Modern Architecture, (Burlington: Routledge, 2014)
Beltramini, G, The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Scamozzi’s “Idea della architettura universale” in Palladian Territory’, An. Archit. Cent., xviii– xix (2006–2007), pp. 199–213.
Barbieri, F. and G. Beltramini, Vincenzo Scamozzi: 1548–1616 (Venice, 2003).
Vincenzo Scamozzi, Procuratie Nuove, Venice. Photo: Wolfgang Moroder.
Vincenzo Scamozzi, “Doric Order,” L’Idea della architettura Universale, 1616.
Vincenzo Scamozzi, Villa Molin, near Padua. Photo: Milazzi.
Paolo Veronese, Portrait of Vincenzo Scamozzi, Denver Art Museum.