Plotting the centre: Bramante’s drawings for the New St. Peter’s Basilica

Temple, Nicholas (2014) Plotting the centre: Bramante’s drawings for the New St. Peter’s Basilica. In: Recto verso: redefining the sketchbook. Studies in architecture . Ashgate, Farnham, Surrey, pp. 65-82. ISBN 9781138783249

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Abstract / Description

This paper examines the concept of 'centre' in the design and symbolism of the new St Peter's Basilica, executed by Donato Bramante in the early 16th century. Drawing upon theological and philosophical notions of centre in late Medieval and Renaissance culture (specifically Nicolas Cusanus), the study argues that Bramante's drawings for the project reveal a particular understanding of centre, and its constellations of sub-centres, that broadly follow Platonic cosmological principles highlighted in the Timaeus. The paper considers how this understanding of space was also communicated in the iconography of the frescoes in the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican Palace, executed by Raphael at the same time as Bramante's design for the new basilica, in which Bramante is also credited as the author of the perspective construction.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Papal Rome, Renaissance Architecture, Donato Bramante, Nicolas Cusanus, Renaissance Humanism, Perspective, Proportion, Platonism, St. Peter's Basilica,
Subjects: 100 Philosophy & psychology
100 Philosophy & psychology > 110 Metaphysics
100 Philosophy & psychology > 180 Ancient, medieval & eastern philosophy
200 Religion
200 Religion > 230 Christianity & Christian theology
200 Religion > 270 History of Christianity & Christian church
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 710 Civic & landscape art
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 720 Architecture
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 740 Drawing & decorative arts
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 750 Painting & paintings
900 History & geography > 940 History of Europe
Department: The School of Art, Architecture and Design
Depositing User: Nicholas Temple
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2020 11:11
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2020 19:45


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