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Running head; Bramante


October 13, 2012


The High Renaissance was full of artists that had amazing ideas and among those artist was Donato D’ Angelo Bramante, who is actually know for bring the value of ancient architecture into the time of the Renaissance. In the eyes of people today he is known to be the founder of the High Renaissance architectural design. In my paper I will tell you a little about him, give examples of his work and explain how his architecture helped to change the Renaissance.

Donato D’ Angelo Bramante, was “Born in Urbino and trained as a painter (perhaps by Piero Della Francesca), Bramante went to Milan in 1481 and, like Leonardo, stayed there until the French arrived in 1499. In Milan, he abandoned painting to become one of his generation’s most renowned architects. Under the influence of Filippo Brunelleschi, Leon Battista Alberti, and perhaps Leonardo, all of whom strongly favored the art and architecture of classical antiquity, Bramante developed the High Renaissance form of the central-plan church.” (Kleiner. F, 2010 p.g. 475).

Bramante’s architectural style, based on ancient Roman models, was consistent with the humanistic values of the day. (Kleiner.F, 2010 p.g.475) He’s known for what he wanted his perspective to be and achieving it. Bramante used misconception in features of his paintings and stage settings to create ceremonious architectural space. “Historically, his


importance is due to the way he inspired and influenced successive architects rather than through his original buildings, few of which survive unaltered”(Sharp, 1991).

One of his original buildings Bramante “produces (beginning ca. 1502) a circular domed structure called the Tempietto (little temple)”(Rome and Southern Italy). Bramante was summoned by the Spainish monarchs Ferdinand ll and Isabella to create a place of worship. This place is near the church of San Piertro. It is said to be the place of Saint Peter’s crucifixion. Bramante used his development central- plan in the design “Central-plan” denotes rotational symmetry; if the plan is rotated around its central point, it looks the same at multiple points of rotation. Thus, a central-plan building could be square, circular, or octagonal”(Encyclopedia Britannica). This design is what gave Bramante his name of founder of the High Renaissance. The plan influenced the design of many churches.

Bramante first moved to Milan were the styles of the building were gothic, so he had many different styles to influence his design. While in Milan Bramante was hired by Duke Ludovico Sfora to work as his personal architect. Bramante rebuilt the church of Santa Maria presso San Satrio. He also “built the structures of Santa Maria delle Grazie, cloisters of Sant’Ambrogio, and Palazzo Caprini among other smaller works in Milan”. Then Milan was taken over by the French army and Bramante moved to Rome. It did not


take long after arriving Rome for him to be noticed for his skills. Bramante formed a relationship with the Pope Julius ll and right away the Pope put him to work.

Bramante first building in Rome was the S. Maria Della Pace Commentary. Then, the Tempietto, which stands in the courtyard of the San Pietro in Montorio. It is said that the Tempietto is modeled after the Theater of Marcellus. That it is Bramante masterpiece. It is described as “The emphasis here is on the harmony of proportions, the simplicity of volumes (cylinder, hemisphere) and the sobriety of the Doric Order. The circular plan symbolizes divine perfection. Inspired by ancient temples, the Tempietto is both a homage to antiquity and a Christian memorial."(Beazley). Bramante was planning on adding more to this piece, mainly a courtyard. Bramante found that The Pope had great respect for him and was giving him the task of rebuilding St. Peter’s Basilica. So, he put off working on the courtyard. This was a great honor because artist had to give blueprints of their designs and then the Pope chose. Unfortunately the Pope pasted away and Bramante was removed from the job. What he did accomplish gave the new artist influence on the design. The project of St Peter’s was Bramante last one because he pasted before he could add the courtyard to the Tempietto.

Bramante brought all the different influences he had in his artistic life together and created central-plan. A whole now look on architecture. I hope you enjoyed learning about Bramante I sure did.

Kleiner, F. (2010) Gardner’s Art Through The Ages: The Western Perspective, Thirteenth Edition Volume II. Wadsworth Cengage Learning

Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p28.

"Rome and Southern Italy, 1400–1600 A.D.". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–.®ion=eusts (October 2002)

“Western Architecture: The Renaissance”, Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed October13, 2012 Retrieved from;

Mitchell Beazley. The World Atlas of Architecture. p276

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