Hand made in the U.S.A. with U.S. Hardwoods
Random Renaissance Era Quotes (Well, mostly)

Andrea Palladio

Andrea Palladio (November 30, 1508 – August 19, 1580), or Andrea di Pietro della Gondola, was an architect born in Padua, Italy. Apprenticed as a stonecutter in Padua when he was 13, he broke his contract after only 18 months and fled to the nearby town of Vicenza. In Vicenza, he became an assistant in the leading workshop of stonecutters and masons.

The Palladian style is named after him, a style which adhered to classical Roman principles, as opposed to the rich ornamentation of the Renaissance. Palladio designed many churches, villas, and palaces, especially in Venice and the surrounding area.

His style became fashionable all over Europe. In Britain, Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren embraced the Palladian style. Another admirer was the architect Richard Boyle, 4th Earl of Cork, also known as Lord Burlington, who, with William Kent, designed Chiswick House. Later exponents of his work who helped to popularize Palladio’s concepts included the 18th century Venetian architect Giacomo Leoni who published an authoritative four volume work on Palladio and his architectural concepts.

Palladio’s architecture also inspired a classical music piece by the Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, called Palladio. Many people know it by its first movement, which was used for a De Beers diamond television commercial.

Palladio was the son of Pietro ‘della gondola’. He frequented the workshop of Bartolomeo Cavazza, from whom he learned some of his skills. The most important influence was by the noble Gian Giorgio Trissino, who invented the classical name of Palladio for his friend and pupil Andrea. In 1541 Palladio went to Rome to study the ancient monuments.

Significant dates:

1540: Began his first work, villa Godi in Lonedo.
1544: Begins construction of villa Pisani in Bagnolo.
1545: Involved in the refurbishment of the Basilica of Vicenza.
1550: He produces drawings for palazzo Chiericati.
1552: He began work on the palace of Iseppo De’ Porti.
1556: In Udine he works on casa Antonini and in Vicenza begins with palazzo Thiene. While his assignments increase along with his fame, he collaborates with the patriarch of Aquileia on the edition of a book on ‘Vitruvio’, providing the drawings.
1557: He begins Villa Badoer in the Po river valley
1558: He realises a project for the church of S. Pietro in Castello in Venice and probably in the same year begins the construction of villa Malcontenta.
1559: He begins Villa Emo in the village of Fanzolo di Vedelago.
1561: He begins the construction of villa Pojana Maggiore and at the same time of the refettorio for the Benedictines of St. George in Venice, and subsequently the facade of the monastery Monastero per la Carità and villa Serego.
1562: He began the facade of San Francesco della Vigna and work on San Giorgio Maggiore.
1565: He begins the construction of villa Cagollo in Vicenza and villa Pisani in Montagnana.
1566: palazzo Valmarana, Cornaro and villa Zeno.
1567: Begins works for the Villa Capra “La Rotonda”
1570: He is nominated Proto della Serenissima (Illustrious citizen of Venice) and publishes in Venice I Quattro Libri dell’Architettura (The Four Books of Architecture).
1571: He realises: villa Piovene, palazzo Porto Barbaran, the loggia del Capitanio and palazzo Porto Breganze.
1574: He prints the ‘Commentari’ (commentaries) of Caesar and works on studies for the front of S. Petronio in Bologna.
1577: He begins the construction of the Redentore.
1580: He prepares drawings for the interior of the church of S. Lucia in Venice and in the same year on the 23rd of March he oversees the beginning of the construction of the Teatro Olimpico.

A touch of “Swan Song” and a dash of “The Stand”…Very good post-apocalyptic tale in the mode and mood of R. McCammon’s “Swan Song” and S. King’s “The Stand”. ★★★★★

Excerpt from Troop of Shadows:

Colleyville, Texas

Dani cursed the weight of her backpack. The final two items from the ransacked Walgreens, crammed in as an afterthought ten minutes ago, might cost her everything. After surviving the last twelve months of hell only to be thwarted now by a can of Similac and a twelve-pack of Zest soap, would be sadly anticlimactic. Despite running at a full sprint down a dark suburban street, dodging overflowing garbage cans while eluding three men who would steal her hard-won tubes of Neosporin and likely rape and kill her in the process, she snorted at the thought of a fictional headline: Young Woman’s Life Ends Tragically but Zestfully Clean.

Damn it, she would ditch the backpack. She could come back tomorrow night for it, but right now staying alive outweighed any future benefit its contents might provide. As her pursuers rounded the corner behind her, she darted across the front lawn of a house and leaped over a cluster of dead juniper shrubs. A year ago, those shrubs had been green, manicured, and providing curb appeal to the upscale neighborhood; they functioned now as a hurdle component in the obstacle course Dani navigated on most nights.

She angled toward the side of the house and around the corner, only to come to an abrupt stop next to a six-foot barricade. Residents of these sprawling bedroom communities situated between Dallas and Fort Worth clung to their privacy fences as fiercely as their rural counterparts did to their firearms. Why all those day-trading dads and cheerleader moms required such secrecy was beyond Dani. She didn’t care. All that mattered was how difficult they made her nightly forages. Only idiots or people with a death wish traveled alone on the streets anymore. The clever ones navigated through backyards and drainage ditches, shadowed easements and alleyway, avoiding open spaces and other humans.

Especially humans traveling in groups.

Stealth and caution were second nature to her now, and she was pissed at herself for loading up the backpack with more weight than she could easily carry at a full run.

Rookie mistake.

She flung the pack into the undergrowth of a once meticulous garden, making a mental note of the enormous red tip photinia which camouflaged the bundle in a leafy shroud. She hoped to be alive the next day to retrieve it.

She clambered up the fence, finding a toehold on a warped plank, and squirmed over the top. A silver fingernail of a moon did little to illuminate the backyard. Weak starlight reflected off the inky surface of a half-empty, kidney-shaped swimming pool. Her Nikes gripped the concrete deck as she skirted the murky water and made a beeline for the back of the yard that was, of course, separated from its neighbor by a privacy fence. It was a tall one too — a full ten feet. There were no bushes or trees to use for leverage either. She scanned the area for anything that might serve as a step ladder.

Of all the yards she could have chosen for her escape, she’d picked one with a damn ten-foot fence.

Her heart raced from the sprint, but not from panic. Gone was the young woman from a year ago, the full-time floundering college dropout and part-time surly Starbucks barista who spent too much time reading books and not enough time looking for a job that would allow her to move out of her parents’ house. She was too smart for her own good, everyone had told her. She should have taken that secretarial position in North Dallas, but she would have lost her sanity in that environment. The tedious filing, the ringing phones, the office politics — in other words, hell on earth for a girl with an IQ over a hundred and fifty.

Despite the recent horrors, she’d come into her own at last, after twenty-one years of meandering through life unfocused and unchallenged. The extra twenty pounds she’d been carrying courtesy of Freddy’s cheeseburgers and Taco Bell burritos were gone, thanks to her newfound self-discipline and endless hours of Krav Maga training with Sam. Not only had she transformed her body, she’d elevated and strengthened her mind as well. Before the power had gone out, she’d watched countless tutorials on T’ai Chi, Qigong, and Buddhist meditation. During that same window — when people were beginning to get sick, but before most of them had died — she’d combed book stores and libraries within a fifteen-mile radius. When the country went dark and people realized that life-saving information was no longer available with a few keystrokes, Dani had amassed reference material on subjects as diverse as hydroponics and combat first aid, ancient meat drying techniques and bomb making. Between martial arts lessons with Sam, she spent every spare minute absorbing the printed esoteric knowledge like a greedy lizard on a sun-drenched rock.

Knowledge was survival.

When the first of the men slithered over the fence into the backyard, she hadn’t found anything to use as a foothold. Another figure followed behind him. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and released it from her lungs, slow and measured, then took off at a full run toward them. While she ran, fingers slid down to a leather sheath secured to her belt. Two seconds before she reached the first of her would-be assailants, a Ka-Bar — the grandaddy of tactical knives — was in her hand.

Dani used momentum and every ounce of her one-hundred-twenty pound frame to slam the first man into the second, knocking both assailants off-balance and unprepared for her next move: a vicious stab to the groin of the first. He collapsed to his knees. She followed with a backhand movement, opening up the throat of his companion. A similar gesture to the man with the injured groin silenced his moaning.

Read More Here: