Jacopo Sansovino is credited with introducing to Venice the classical architecture that was devel-oped further in the next generation by the famous Venetian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. Jacopo Sansovino was born in Florence but spent most of his early years working in Rome. During this time, the papal court in Rome sponsored many architectural commissions to restore the city to its ancient grandeur, and so the High Renaissance style flourished there during the first two decades of the century. However, in 1527, Rome was pillaged by members of the army of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. The Holy Roman Empire and the Papacy had been maintaining an uneasy alliance, and indeed the Emperor was in northern Italy at the time to help drive the French out of the region. His victory so drained the imperial treasury that the majority of his soldiers abandoned their duties after finding out that they would not receive their salaries. Around 35,000 of these soldiers, together with their commanding officers, marched on Rome to loot the city, and Rome was nearly destroyed. Most of the leading artists and architects, including Jacopo Sansovino, fled the city along with many other people.
   In 1529, Sansovino settled in Venice and became the chief architect to the Procurator of San Marco. It is in the central piazza of San Marco that Sansovino's most famous buildings are located, including the Mint, called the "Zecca"; the small portico called the "Loggetta" that adjoins the belltower, or campanile; and the library, located across from the Doges' Palace. The library, built by Sansovino in the 1530s, is innovative in design and format. It effectively provides the final link to the traditional branches of city life. These include the economic center, located in the thriving market area behind the library; the religious authority, symbolized by the adjacent Cathedral of San Marco; the secular political power, represented by the Doges' Palace; and finally, the new Renaissance interest in the intellectual aspirations of its citizens, represented by the library itself.
   Libraries had been built prior to Sansovino's structure, but this is the first library to attain such a prominent location and to be so fully integrated into a city's identity. The library mimics the general appearance of the opposing Doges' Palace by following the same long, rectangular shape and the two-story open portico. The Doges' Palace, however, is larger and has an additional third story, marking its central importance in the city. The architectural importance of the library is that it replaced the Gothic style, which had continued to be very popular in this northern Italian city, with a Renaissance classicism imported from Rome. Accordingly, Sansovino's columns are not the fanciful versions separated by Gothic arches and exotic decoration that characterize the Doges' Palace. Instead, he used the Vitruvian Doric and then Ionic capital orders to support each story, together with rounded arches that form the open porch areas and are flanked by smaller columns. Finally, a classical Roman balustrade runs along the roof. The levels are separated by classical molding that serves to create a rational design, in keeping with classical principles. Thus, here Sansovino successfully brought to the city of Venice both the style of classical antiquity and its Renaissance symbolism.

Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts. . 2008.

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  • Sansovino, Jacopo — (Jacopo Tatti; 1486 1570)    Florentine architect and sculptor who trained with Andrea Sansovino from whom he adopted his surname. He traveled to Rome in 1505 or 1506 where he entered Donato Bramante s circle. For the next two decades he split… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • SANSOVINO, Jacopo — (1486 1570) A Florentine architect and sculptor, Jacopo Sansovino orchestrated the archi­tectural renewal of the political center of Venice, helping to modernize the city and bring it into the High Renaissance. In Florence, Italy, Jacopo Tatti… …   Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary

  • Sansovino, Jacopo — orig. Jacopo Tatti born July 2, 1486, Florence, Republic of Florence died Nov. 27, 1570, Venice, Republic of Venice Italian sculptor and architect. He trained in Florence under Andrea Sansovino, whose name he adopted. In 1505–06 he moved to Rome… …   Universalium

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  • SANSOVINO (1486-1570) — SANSOVINO JACOPO TATTI dit (1486 1570) Architecte et sculpteur qui devait prendre le surnom de son maître Sansovino, Jacopo Tatti joue un rôle particulièrement important dans le développement de l’art vénitien. Florentin de naissance, il entre… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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