THE AUGUSTINIANS AND THE RENAISSANCE (4)
Giuliano di San Gallo, architect
The architect of this monastery at San Gallo was Giuliano, the son of Francesco Giamberti.
After this Augustinian assignment Giuliano always called himself Giuliano di San Gallo (1445 - 1516).
He has been called by that name ever since.
In 1488 he designed the sacristy of the Augustinian Church of Santo Spirito in Florence.
In 1514-1515 he was the assistant architect of Saint Peter’s Basilica (construction began in 1546), Rome, working with Raphael (1483 – 1520), the painter and architect.
In the previous year, Raphael had executed the Chigi chapel at the Augustinian Church of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome.
(For a page on Augnet about the Convento San Gallo, click here.)
William d’Estouteville, cardinal and patron
It has been established above that patronage was a factor in bringing architectural plans to fruition.
For a religious order to build churches, gaining such patronage often meant an ability to win support from the wealthy, sometimes their visibly objectionable morals notwithstanding.
This was the case with the major renovations of the Church of Sant’Agostino in Rome in the style of the Renaissance in 1479-1483, and in 1466-1480 with a new Augustinian convento at Cori, near Latina, south of Rome - the native town of the notable Ambrose Massari da Cori O.S.A..
The patron was the Cardinal Protector of the Order of Saint Augustine. For thirty-six years in the fifteenth century (1446 - 1482) the Cardinal was William d’Estouteville (1403 – 1483).
The Renaissance façade of the Church of Sant’Agostino in Rome was begun thirty-five years after the Church of Santo Spirito was begun in Florence.
(Incidentally, the intended Renaissance façade was never added to Santo Spirito, and it still stands "bare faced" to this day.)
The renovations of the Church of Sant’Agostino consciously remodelled the church in the Renaissance style of the Augustinian church of Santo Spirito in Florence.
The Church of Sant’Agostino is the finest example of early Renaissance church architecture in Rome.
The Renaissance façade, one of the first in this style, is built in travertine stone said to be from the ruins of the Colosseum.
Cardinal d’Estouteville was independently wealthy through his family in France, and was Camerlengo (chamberlain, or chief agent) to five successive popes.
He was not adverse to using his position to sell to kings and governments his influence in church matters, and to buy property in Rome for speculative investment.
He had an illegitimate son whom he named Girolamo Tuttavilla (which is an Italian copy of d'Estouteville), and whom he promoted in business.
(For a number of pages on Augnet about William d’Estouteville, click here.)
The Order of Saint Augustine was able to work with him.
In fact, there was financial difficulty in the completion of the church and convento of Sant’Agostino when he did not respond to a request of the Augustinian General Chapter at Padua in 1482 for more funds.
Months later, his death in January 1483 then made his decision absolutely final.
Possibly other religious orders could paint a similar scenario; that, however, is not the question under review here.
(Continued on the next page.)