Villa Thiene
Villa Thiene is a 16th century villa at Quinto Vicentino in the province of Vicenza. The villa takes its name from the Thiene brothers who commissioned it. The building as it stands today is the work of several architects one of whom was Andrea Palladio. Since 1996, the villa has been conserved as part of a World Heritage Site, the "City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto". The World Heritage Site also includes the Palazzo Thiene in the city of Vicenza which belonged to same Thiene brothers, Marcantonio and Adriano.

Architectural details
For Villa Thiene, Palladio appears to have adapted a design by Giulio Romano. The extent of Romano's involvement in the project is not clear, in any case he died in 1546 while the villa was still under construction. One of Thiene brothers, Adriano Thiene, had to flee Vicenza in 1547 and building work appears to have been put on hold at that time. A version of the villa is illustrated and discussed in I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura , Palladio's landmark publication of 1570. The plan shows two courtyards which were never completed. Courtyards are rather unusual among Palladio's villas, but the architect also proposed courtyards for Villa Serego, another incomplete villa, where one of the courtyards was partially constructed. Palladio's plan indicates that the present building was not originally intended for the mansion itself, but for one of the agricultural wings. However, there are sixteenth-century frescoes in the building, suggesting that it was decided at an early state that the building would not be purely utilitarian. The front and rear facades have been modified since the sixteenth century: the front facade is probably the closer to Palladio's intentions, although the brickword would originally have been rendered. The many holes were apparently done during war time, to extract metal used within the villa's construction. The garden facade of Villa Thiene has been attributed to eighteenth-century architect Francesco Muttoni. Both the thermal window in the concluding gable and portals in the centre part are displeasing. These elements cannot be reconciled with Palladio's formal idiom.

Building Activity

  • Georgi Sokolov
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