Baldassare Peruzzi

  • 1481 - 1536
  • Artist
  • Italian

Though Baldassare Peruzzi's artistic versatility was not uncommon in the 1500s, he was most successful as a draftsman and architect. An early promoter of axonometric drawing, he made much-admired studies of antique buildings. Many of his painted house facades, all now destroyed, were meant to look like grand "ancient" sculptural facades, wittily combining his characteristic illusionism with antique themes.

Upon arriving in Rome from Siena in 1502, Peruzzi revived illusionistic classical mural painting and painted theater perspectives later used in a treatise on architecture. In 1515 he designed a new facade for Bologna Cathedral and later worked on a church, chapel, and palazzo in the town. When Raphael died in 1520, Peruzzi succeeded him as architect of Saint Peter's basilica in Rome, using drawing as a tool to understand and further develop the existing plans.

Following the Sack of Rome in 1527, Peruzzi retreated to Siena, where he became architect to the Republic. Here he improved fortifications, devised a minting machine, and constructed several villas. He also designed a dome and altar for the modernization of Siena Cathedral and reconstructed a dam.