Piazza San Marco and Sansovino
Jacopo Sansovino, born in Florence 1486, took refuge in Venice during the Sack of Rome. Once there he was hired to revitalize the civic piazza of San Marco. With both his Libraria Marciana and Zecca, Sansovino was able to equal the Ducal palaces while updating the new buildings with Renaissance design. The Libraria Marciana (1536-1588) uses Doric half columns on the bottom level and Ionic columns on the upper, representing imposition. Featuring a strong horizontal, the Library has two balustrades (division level and cornice level). Continuing in the Venetion tradition, there is decorative and sculptural relief work. This, and the addition of light and shade, helped create a balance with the other major buildings.
In contrast to the Library, La Zecca (1537-45) is more solid, deterring the public from entering, the entrance is through the Library. Some features:
- rusticated lower story
- banded orders on second story, introduced to Northern Italy by Serlio in Book III, 1540 (Antiquities)
- heavy lintels
- strong projecting cornice
Although the buildings which make up the Piazza seem to be different, and in fact some are from different periods, Sansovino makes a cohesive environment, incorporating humanistic and ceremonious themes. There are some similarities to Michelangelo's Capitoline Hill (1561) in Rome. Michelangelo faced the challenge of fitting together several buildings, where none should outdo the others and the importance of the civic buildings is a priority.