The bestselling author of ONE GOOD TURN pursues his most appropriate subject yet: Andrea Palladio, the Shakespeare of Renaissance architects, who gave us the word 'Palladian' but about whom little is known. A journey along the Brenta River in northeastern Italy, just a short distance from Venice, reveals the origin of the architecture of the private house, an art first practiced by Andrea Palladio. Until Palladio began designing simple, gorgeous, perfectly proportioned villas, architectural genius was reserved for temples and palaces. Palladio not only designed and built, he wrote. His 1570 architectural treatise was read and studied by great thinkers as diverse as Thomas Jeffferson and Inigo Jones, and it proved to be critical to the design of Monticello and the White House. More than just a study of one of history's seminal architectural figures, THE PERFECT HOUSE reflects Rybczynski's intimacy with and enthusiasm for his subject. He not only reveals why the villas were so architecurally and culturally influential, he also imparts his enormous affection and admiration for the man who designed them. Embracing the elements of Rybczynski's most successful books on domestic architecture, HOME and THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOUSE IN THE WORLD this charming, revelatory meditation explores the dawn of domestic architecture, and provides a new way of looking at every building we inhabit or visit today.
Witold Rybczynski has written about architecture for The New York Times, Time, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker. He is the architecture critic for Slate, and is the author of the critically-acclaimed book Home and the award-winning A Clearing in the Distance. His latest book is The Biography of a Building. He is the recipient of the National Building Museum's 2007 Vincent Scully Prize. He lives with his wife in Philadelphia, where he teaches at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.
Read his blog at http://www.witoldrybczynski.com.