Research Paper: Asses the Text of Andrea Palladio and Sinan

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Andrea Palladio and Sinan

The Turkish Architect, Sinan, and the Italian Andrea Palladio, born less than 20 years apart, show remarkable similarities in their work and attitude. One particular similarity is that they are both representative of great architecture in their respective cultures and time periods. Both rose from humble beginnings to become much sought-after professionals, designing luxurious and beautiful buildings for royalty, rich business people, and other clients. While Sinan was employed by the Sultan's court, Palladio made his first breakthrough when he became a student to an amateur architect. Both architects found themselves deeply inspired by observing ruins and buildings constructed by others. When comparing their writing, it is clear that both men also revere their art deeply, to the point where it is, for them, no less than a means of praising God who gave them the talent. When observing their writing, both Sinan and Palladio use very poetic, highly reverent language. For Palladio, this is particularly the case early in his writing. Sinan's writing, however, is somewhat more consistently poetic than that of Palladio. Certain parallels can then be seen in both architect's lives, as well as their writing; being born within the same time period, it is not surprising that their writing and their buildings, as well as the longevity of their art, show remarkable similarities.

According to the Turkish Cultural foundation, Sinan is representative of the greatest in Ottoman Empire architecture. Assumed to be born in 1490, he spent his youth in the village of Anginas until he was conscripted to the "masters of carpenters." At 22 he was recruited to the Corps of Ottoman Standing Troops. This gave him many opportunities for travel, which he used to educate himself on the beauty and art of building and architecture. After many years in the army, Sinan built a reputation as military engineer. It was on this reputation that Sultan Suleyman appointed him as head of the office of royal architects. This is where Sinon then gained his first opportunity to design and construct a mosque in honor of the death of the sultan's favorite son, Prince Mehmet. The result was the Sehzade Mosque, which is even today considered as one of the most remarkable buildings in existence. This brought Sinan to the attention of a wide audience and created great demand for his work, from individual clients to royalty. This brought the architect further honor, as he was elevated to State Architect under Sultan Suleyman, a position he held for ten years. Among Sinan's work at this time was the Suleymaniye Kulliye, a complex of charitable buildings the Sultan commissioned. The finished construction covered almost 25 acres and included a large mosque, four schools, a hospice, public baths, a hospital and dispensary, bookshops, a library, the Sultan's tomb, and a teaching asylum. During his lifetime, Sinan devoted a large amount of time and energy to the creation of beautiful buildings. His total works amount to more than 360 structures, including 84 major mosques 57 religious schools, 35 palaces and mansions, and 42 public baths.

When compared with Sinan's life, Andrea Palladio shares similar humble beginnings. According to the Royal Academy of Arts (2009), Palladio was born in Padua in 1508, during the Renaissance. He was the son of a miller and minor businessman, and as such was apprenticed, as Sinan was, in a trade, as a stonemason. This apprenticeship for Palladio started at the age of thirteen. Also like Sinan, Palladio distinguished himself in the profession chosen for him, and when he moved to Vicenza in 1524, he left a very definite mark as stonemason. Later, this same city would see Palladio's legacy as architect. Whereas Sinan's career as architect began only at 50, Palladio experienced a similar turning point when he began to study under Giangiorgio Trissino, who was not only an accomplished scholar and poet, but also an amateur architect. It is here that he lay the theoretical foundation of his later career as architect.

Palladio's first visit to Rome in 1541 lay the foundation for his maturity in architecture. Like Sinon, this journey inspired him endlessly in terms of the beauty that might be experienced in building. The ruins in Rome, for example inspired Palladio to measure, survey and record the ancient buildings. He compared these drawings, based on what he saw, with his earlier work based on theory and corrected the latter according to his new observations and knowledge. One event that played a significant part in his development as an architect was the construction and development of St. Peter's Basilica by Bramante. Inspired and developed as a professional architect, his visits to the Italian center of the Renaissance at the time brought Palladio closer to his eventual status as one of the top architects of his time. In part, this was due to Palladio's ability to take even the most modern, newest ideas and develop them further to create something revolutionary. He was, for example, the first to introduce the idea that both two- and three-dimensional planning can be included in orders. Palladio created countless villas and palazzi, and as such became known as one of the representatives of great Italian architecture, not only of his time, but also to this day. In this, his work is as timeless and spectacular as the surviving buildings created by Sinan. As such, both Sinan and Palladio are representative of their time and culture, taking the materials and knowledge available to them and creating create architecture, elevated to an art form.

When it comes to a reflection on their writing, the most obvious difference between the work of Palladio and that of Sinan is the fact that Palladio begins with highly poetic language, but becomes more practical as his work progresses. In the first chapter of his work, for example, his reverence for architecture and its purpose is parallel to his reverence for God. Palladio, for example, begins his Foreword by distinguishing between buildings for the public and those devoted to God. For God, according to the architect, buildings should serve the purpose of demonstrating the beauty and majesty that is the divine. An interesting element of this assertion is that Palladio uses "human" buildings as a type of model for what churches should be, where the latter are a type of enhancement of the human version of the home. Where homes serve practical purposes, churches should do so to an even greater degree. Where beauty is concerned, homes can be beautiful, but churches should be even more so. Being for God, churches are human buildings serving a higher purpose, and should therefore be modeled accordingly.

After his poetic assertions, Palladio becomes more practical and, true to his nature, uses the history of religious buildings in the form of temples to inform his idea on what the modern church should be. He examines, in great detail, the form and functions of churches built for gods such as Juno and Jupiter. Interestingly, he uses these to inform his ideas on what the Christian church should be.

What is interesting here is that Palladio separates his reverence for the Christian God, whom he referred to as Creator and Master of the Universe at the start of his writing, from his drive to learn from history. He has not qualms about learning from pagan buildings if it means these can teach him to create better modern buildings. It is in this ability to learn from others, regardless of apparently conflicting philosophies, that his brilliance lies.

In the later chapters of his writing, Palladio becomes even more practical, adding sketches and dimensions to demonstrate his ideas on what the temple should be. As such, it can be seen as a progression of a religious philosophy that is enhanced by the practical in terms of history and architecture. As such, Palladio uses his art to praise his God in the most practical sense of the term.

Another obvious difference between the writings of Palladio and Sinan is that the latter intersperses his writing with poetry. While Palladio uses very poetic language in his Foreword, he does so in the form of prose rather than poetry. Sinan goes a step further than Palladio in praising God by means of both prose and poetry. In both, God is regarded as the main architect of all things. Whereas Palladio therefore uses his talent as architect to praise God, Sinan praises God in a more direct way by regarding him as the main inspiration, leader, and divinity of architects.

Sinan's poetic language in praising God is also somewhat more intense than Palladio's. Where Palladio refers to God as Creator and Master of the Universe, Sinan refers to him as the Creator of the foundation of the seven stories.

Like Palladio, Sinan also draws parallels between the divine and secular worlds; where the latter is the direct representative of the former. Sultans, as rulers, for example, are God's representatives in terms of leadership, fairness, and care for their subordinates.

Whereas Palladio refers… [END OF PREVIEW]

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