History
Insights:
The facade
The restoration
The frescoes
The statues
The paintings
The prints
 
The facade

The facade of Valmarana Braga's Palace is a work of extraordinary modernity which, at the time of its construction in 1565, was without precedent.
While in Renaissance architecture, the supporting elements balance the core, with the facade of the Palazzo Valmarana, Palladio develops a new concept in which these elements are attributed a leading role.
This dominance is displayed in six gigantic pilasters which rise up the two main levels of the building and support a deeply jutting out attic floor. The pilasters stand on a base which surrounds the palace and becomes the platform for the pilasters and entire building.

Despite occupying a prominent position in the street, the Palace perfectly relates to the neighbouring buildings. Palladio very cleverly interrupted the gigantic order, introducing corner pillars which span the ground floor to the balcony and are replaced in the piano nobile by statues of soldiers. These, Caryatids like, sustain the decorative moulding of the jutting out attic.

The position of the windows in the far ends of the palace corresponds to this different order of floors; the far windows in both the ground floor and the piano nobile are smaller than in the other parts of the facade. In the ground floor the small windows of the mezzanine floor replace the four original high reliefs and in the piano nobile the far windows are crowned with a small triangle shaped fronton.
The floors are separated by deeply articulated decorative moulding which is interrupted by the pilaster strips of the gigantic order which support the moulding of the attic floor.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Above the windows of the ground floor of the Palace are important low reliefs of the facade designed by Domenico Fontana. Two are original and two were recreated by the sculptor Giordani (1962) on the trace of those destroyed.

Below one of these it is written: Ars superant naturam; below another, which is a finely carved representation of greyhound dogs, are engraved two Greek words which mean “Hunting is the most generous and noble hobby”. Both of these are carved on the right hand side of the entrance.
On the left side, below a fine artwork representing an historic subject, there is: "Ubi periculum, ibi festinandum". The inscription on top of the portal of the Palace reports an event happened in 1581:
The empress Mary of Austria, daughter of Charles V, wife of Massimilian II and mother of Rudolph II, was welcomed in the Palace belonging to Leonardo Valmarana with a large entourage.

"Maria Austria Augusta, Caroli Quinti, Maximiliani Secundi, Rodolphi Secundi
Imperatorum filia, uxor, mater, a Philippo fratre Hispaniorum Rege Potentissimo,
ad regendum Lusitanorum quondam Regum Imperium nuper partum, e Germania
accita per Italiam iter faciens, in his aedibus, quod ipsa ob veterem Austriacorum
Principum erga hanc domum clientalam maxime voluit, cum Margarita
Maximilianoque filiis Archiducibus, a Leonardo Valmarana Comite eodemque
Philippi Regis Pensionario, splendidissimo apparatu accepta fuit. Anno
MDLXXXI, VII Kal. Octobris".

 
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