Villa Barbaro, from I quattro libri dell'architettura di Andrea Palladio (Book 2, page 51)

Author: Andrea Palladio (Italian, Padua 1508–1580 Vicenza)

Illustrator: Christoph Krieger (German, born Nuremberg, died Venice, ca. 1590)

Illustrator: Johann Chrieger (German, active 16th century)

Publisher: Dominico de' Franceschi (Italian, active 1557–86)

Dedicatee: Giacomo Angarano (Italian)

Dedicatee: Dedicated to Emanuele Filiberto (Italian, 1528–1580)

Published in: Venice

Date: 1570

Medium: Printed book with woodcut illustrations

Dimensions: Book: 11 5/8 in. × 8 1/4 in. × 1 in. (29.5 × 21 × 2.5 cm)
Sheet: 11 5/16 x 7 11/16 in. (28.8 x 19.5 cm)

Classifications: Books, Ornament & Architecture

Credit Line: Bequest of W. Gedney Beatty, 1941

Accession Number: 41.100.126-(2.51)


One of Palladio's architectural masterpieces, the Villa Barbaro (1557–58) overlooks the farmlands near Asolo and Vicenza. The villa has an elongated composition consisting of a central wing with various side pavilions and courtyards, thus incorporating features of the typical farmyard of the Veneto region (barns, dovecotes). As such, it demonstrates Palladio's versatility in developing a range of models for classical-inspired villas and his ability to incorporate each client's special needs. The design extends into the landscape by ordering the experience of the natural environment with an ornamental fountain and nymphaeum carved into the hill behind the villa. The decorative program brings the countryside into the house through the Venetian painter Paolo Veronese's refined and delicately colored murals depicting scenes from contemporary villa life that transform the cruciform sala into an apparent colonnade.