Bramante, Donato

Bramante, Donato
   Italian artist, known principally as an architect. He originally worked at Urbino and Milan as a painter, but his service to the duke of Milan led to involvement in architectural work, beginning perhaps with paintings and drawings of buildings. By the early 1480s he had become an architect for the ruler's building projects. After the collapse of Sforza rule at Milan, he entered papal service at Rome, where his design of the small structure known as the Tempietto (1502) marked his emergence as the leading architect of the High Renaissance style. Bramante was also influenced by the architectural drawings of his friend Leonardo da Vinci.
   His success with the Tempietto led to his appointment as chief architect to Pope Julius II. His first project was a plan for the extensive remodeling of the papal palace, but the most significant assignment of his career was to design the new St. Peter's basilica. In 1506 Bramante proposed a gigantic centrally planned building topped by a great dome on pendentives, with four identical façades. It was inspired not only by ancient Roman architectural theory but also by the ancient Roman Pantheon and by the sixth-century basilica of Haghia Sophia at Constantinople. Later papal architects, especially Michelangelo and Carlo Maderno, greatly modified his plan. Yet the mature Renaissance architectural style was created by Bramante, and later Renaissance architectural theorists, such as Giorgio Vasari, referred to him when they wanted to demonstrate architectural perfection.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

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