chapter  1
26 Pages

Monuments to Rome

ByJonathan Hill

The mutinous army of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V terrorised Rome in 1527, murdering thousands. Exacerbating the violence, many of the troops were Protestant mercenaries opposed to the Catholic Church. The Sack of Rome led to an exodus of patrons, painters, sculptors and architects northwards, some to the Veneto. A prosperous city that produced the finest silk in Europe, Vicenza had been a part of the Venetian Republic since 1404. But the wealthy Vicentine scholar, dramatist and papal diplomat Gian Giorgio Trissino was suspicious of Venice’s convoluted politics, culture and urban fabric, and aimed instead to model his hometown on classical Rome. In a moment of serendipity, Trissino encountered Andrea, son of Pietro della Gondola, probably in 1537 or 1538 when the Paduan stonemason was 30. Impressed by his protégé’s potential, Trissino offered him a humanist education alongside the sons of Vicentine nobility at the Accademia Trissiniana in Cricoli. 1