1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bramante
BRAMANTE, or Bramante Lazzari (c. 1444 – 1514), Italian architect and painter, whose real name was Donato d’Augnolo, was born at Monte-Asdrualdo in Urbino, in July 1444. He showed a great taste for drawing, and was at an early age placed under Fra Bartolommeo, called Fra Carnavale. But though he afterwards gained some fame as a painter, his attention was soon absorbed by architecture. He appears to have studied under Scirro Scirri, an architect in his native place, and perhaps under other masters. He then set out from Urbino, and proceeded through several of the towns of Lombardy, executing works of various magnitudes, and examining patiently all remains of ancient art. At last, attracted by the fame of the great Duomo, he reached Milan, where he remained from 1476 to 1499. He seems to have left Milan for Rome about 1500. He painted some frescoes at Rome, and devoted himself to the study of the ancient buildings, both in the city and as far south as Naples. About this time the Cardinal Caraffa commissioned him to rebuild the cloister of the Convent della Pace. Owing to the celerity and skill with which Bramante did this, the cardinal introduced him to Pope Alexander VI. He began to be consulted on nearly all the great architectural operations in Rome, and executed for the pope the palace of the Cancelleria or chancery. Under Julius II., Alexander’s successor, Bramante’s talents began to obtain adequate sphere of exercise. His first large work was to unite the straggling buildings of the palace and the Belvedere. This he accomplished by means of two long galleries or corridors enclosing a court. The design was only in part completed before the death of Julius and of the architect. So impatient was the pope and so eager was Bramante, that the foundations were not sufficiently well attended to; great part of it had, therefore, soon to be rebuilt, and the whole is now so much altered that it is hardly possible to decipher the original design.
Besides executing numerous smaller works at Rome and Bologna, among which is specially mentioned by older writers a round temple in the cloister of San Pietro-a-Montorio, Bramante was called upon by Pope Julius to take the first part in one of the greatest architectural enterprises ever attempted—the rebuilding of St Peter’s. Bramante’s designs were complete, and he pushed on the work so fast that before his death he had erected the four great piers and their arches, and completed the cornice and the vaulting in of this portion. He also vaulted in the principal chapel. After his death on the 11th of March 1514, his design was much altered, in particular by Michelangelo.
See Pungileoni, Memoire intorno alla vita ed alle opere di Bramante (Rome, 1836); H. Semper, Donato Bramante (Leipzig, 1879).