Thursday, September 12, 2013

Palazzo Medici Riccardi

The Palazzo Medici, also called the Palazzo Medici Riccardi after the later family that acquired and expanded it, is a Renaissance palace located in FlorenceItaly

The palace was designed by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo for Cosimo de' Medici, head of the Medici banking family, and was built between 1445 and 1460. It was well known for its stone masonry includes rustication and ashlar.
The tripartite elevation used here expresses the Renaissance spirit of rationality, order, and classicism on human scale. This tripartite division is emphasized by horizontal string courses that divide the building into stories of decreasing height. The transition from the rusticated masonry of the ground floor to the more delicately refined stonework of the third floor makes the building seem lighter and taller as the eye moves upward to the massive cornice that caps and clearly defines the building's outline.
The large cantilevered cornices of Florence are worthy of note.  This rather typical detail generally serves a functional purpose to keep the buildings and streets in shadow from the often strong and bright sun.

The low-profile exterior reflects a disdain for ostentation despite the enormous wealth of the owners.

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