On Bramante

On Bramante

By Pier Paolo Tamburelli

A new interpretation of the work of Bramante, suggesting an agenda for contemporary architectural practice.





A new interpretation of the work of Bramante, suggesting an agenda for contemporary architectural practice.

In On Bramante, architect Pier Paolo Tamburelli considers the work of the celebrated Italian Renaissance architect Donato Bramante and through this reappraisal suggests a possible agenda for current architectural practice. Bramante, Tamburelli argues, offers an excellent starting point to imagine a contemporary theory of space, to reflect on the relationship between architecture and politics, and to look back—with neither nostalgia nor contempt—at the tradition of Western classicism.

Starting from a discussion of the difference in the work of Bramante in Milan (1481–1499) and Rome (1499–1514), Tamburelli highlights the peculiarities of Bramante's architecture, especially in comparison to that of his predecessor Leon Battista Alberti and successor Andrea Palladio. This in turn opens up new possibilities for appreciating his spatial experiments, and to derive from Bramante's abstraction and disassociation of form from function a revised theory of space for contemporary architecture. Such a theory might even advance a newfound political understanding of classicism, and a model—perhaps more valid now than ever before—for a public architecture.

The text is bookended by a series of color photographic plates of Bramante's works by photographer Bas Princen.


$39.95 T ISBN: 9780262543422 348 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 43 b&w illus., 32 color plates


  • “This book arrives at a moment when debates in the field over the role of history and architecture's political imperatives are widespread. Tamburelli addresses both issues through detailed analysis situated in the history of the discipline. On Bramante presents a clear and at times brilliant argument that promises to revitalize architectural discourse.”

    Stan Allen

    George Dutton '27 Professor of Architecture, Princeton University

  • “There are many books on the history of architecture, many on modern architecture, but few that, like Tamburelli's On Bramante, write about history in order to illuminate contemporary architectural concerns so brightly.”

    Sam Jacob

    Sam Jacob Studio; Professor of Architecture, University of Illinois, Chicago

  • “Tamburelli's On Bramante reveals the riddles and enduring importance of Bramante's life and work. Mirroring the architect's speculations on the possibility of a public art or common experience, we discover within its pages why the architecture of Bramante, and his preoccupation with space, is so relevant to our discussion of contemporary architecture and our belief in a collective public.”

    Sharon Johnston

    Johnston MarkLee & Associates; Professor in Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Design