Design for a Corinthian Hall, in The Architecture of A. Palladio in Four Books containing a Short Treatise on the Five Orders (L'Architecture de A. Palladio en quatre livres... / Il quattro libri dell'architettura) (Volume 1, book 2, plate 28)

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

Publisher: Revised and designed and published by James [Giacomo] Leoni (British (born Italy) ca. 1686–1746 London)

Translator: Nicholas DuBois (ca. 1665–1735)

Engraver: Bernard Picart (French, Paris 1673–1733 Amsterdam)

Printer: Printed for the author by John Watts (London)

Published in: London

Date: 1715 [1716–20]

Medium: Illustrations: etching and engraving

Dimensions: Book: 17 13/16 × 11 5/8 × 2 3/16 in. (45.3 × 29.5 × 5.5 cm)
Sheet: 17 9/16 x 10 1/4 in. (44.6 x 26 cm)
Plate: 12 5/8 × 8 11/16 in. (32 × 22.1 cm)

Classifications: Books, Ornament & Architecture

Credit Line: Bequest of W. Gedney Beatty, 1941

Accession Number: 41.100.169(1.2.28)


This beautifully illustrated English edition of Palladio's work on architecture and interior decoration greatly influenced the classical idiom that developed in early eighteenth-century England. In the Quattro libri, the grand Corinthian Hall, named for its columns in the Corinthian order, is described in some detail, stressing the importance of precise proportion (a square and two thirds), the correct placement of columns, and the decoration of walls with niches containing classical statues and ceilings with stucco in the classical manner. This design provided an ideal model for the sophisticated and highly academic classical style typical of the interior of the mid-eighteenth-century English country house. Palladio's majestic columns and pilasters, pedimented doors, and chimney pieces were carefully imitated to create the much sought after effect of ancient grandeur. This refined, rather austere Palladian classicism continued to influence the taste for interior decoration into the later eighteenth century, when it was replaced by the lighter, more playfully elegant designs of the architect–interior designer Robert Adam (1728–1792).