Palladian architecture at Clandon Park
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Andrea Palladio was an innovative architect of the 16th century. He designed villas, palazzos and public buildings in and around Venice, becoming Venice’s most eminent architect. His design books were so popular they travelled across the world, inspiring generations of architects. Clandon Park follows many of Palladio’s rules and formulae.
Clandon Park is a typical example of English Palladianism built by Giacomo Leoni in the 1720s. Leoni arrived in England aged 28. He had just rebuilt Lyme Park when he was invited to rebuild Clandon by the 2nd Lord Onslow. The previous manor at Clandon, a Jacobean Style house, is depicted in the painting by Knyff in the Green Damask Room. It was demolished to make way for the Palladian house you see today.
Can you see the Palladian principles at Clandon?
Palladio tried to imitate nature, believing that this led to perfection. Proportions were of great importance to him and he believed that the parts of a building ought to sit harmoniously together.
These proportions are clear at Clandon Park. Have a look at a plan of the house - a Palladian rectangle divided into three bays. The Marble Hall is a cube, the Saloon a square, and the Palladio Room is a Palladian rectangle.
The Palladio Room
The principle drawing room and occasional dining room at Clandon, has been known as the Palladio Room since at least 1747. It still has the Palladian proportions; its length is twice the height and one and a half times the width. The rooms’ original architecture incorporated a series of columns similar to those that still flank the central window.