Travels to Cloisters

Bramante Cloister

Rome, Lazio


Italy - Bramante Cloisters

Built in 1500 to 1504 for Cardinal Oliviero Carafa, this was the first work in rome of Donato Bramante.

There are two levels. The first level has shallow pilasters set against an arcade. The second has also has pilasters against an archade but there are two columns between each of the spans. Today, on the second floor is a cafe restaurant.

This is an important structure as Bramante became the leading architect of Pope Julius II and a rival of Michelangelo.

The cloister is was originally part of a monastery which included the church of Santa Maria della Pace, which stands today. The church holdsRaphael’s famous Sibyls fresco.

Bramante’s design has harmony and equilibrium. This was different from h is work in Milan, which was more influenced by the Gothic architecture of northern Europe.

The communal areas of the monastery were on the ground floor and the sleeping quarters on the upper floor. At the base of each pillar of the upper gallery are stone seats once used by the monks as places to sit and read, converse, or relax. Now visitors to the Chiostro sit immersed in similar activities on the same seats. The walls of the portico on the ground floor are adorned by late 15th-century funerary monuments. Almost all of the lunettes at the top of these walls are decorated with frescoes depicting episodes from the life of the Virgin Mary.


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