Skip to Main Content

The Perfect House

A Journey with Renaissance Master Andrea Palladio

About The Book

"Palladio is the Bible," Thomas Jefferson once said. "You should get it and stick to it." With his simple, gracious, perfectly proportioned villas, Andrea Palladio elevated the architecture of the private house into an art form during the late sixteenth century -- and his influence is still evident in the ample porches, columned porticoes, grand ceilings, and front-door pediments of America today.

In The Perfect House, bestselling author Witold Rybczynski, whose previous books (Home, A Clearing in the Distance, Now I Sit Me Down) have transformed our understanding of domestic architecture, reveals how a handful of Palladio's houses in an obscure corner of the Venetian Republic should have made their presence felt hundreds of years later and halfway across the globe. More than just a study of one of history's seminal architectural figures, The Perfect House reflects Rybczynski's enormous admiration for his subject and provides a new way of looking at the special landscapes we call "home" in the modern world.

About The Author

Photo Credit: Michael Cooper

Witold Rybczynski has written about architecture and urbanism for The New York Times, Time, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book Home and the award-winning A Clearing in the Distance, as well as The Biography of a Building, The Mysteries of the Mall, and Now I Sit Me Down. The recipient of the National Building Museum’s 2007 Vincent Scully Prize, he lives with his wife in Philadelphia, where he is emeritus professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner (September 9, 2003)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780743205870

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

Ross King author of Brunelleschi's Dome [A] wonderfully informative and evocative guide to both the elegant rooms of Palladio's villas and the fascinating history of how a humble stonemason from Padua became one of the most influential architects of all time.

The Philadelphia Inquirer Rybczynski has applied all his usual grace, style, and curiosity to explore an important chapter of domestic history.

Los Angeles Times Rybczynski's clear description of what he sees and his lucid explanations of Palladio's ideas and methods enable the reader to see and understand the essence of this architect's accomplishments.

The New York Times Evocative, compelling, charming, The Perfect House is the perfect traveling companion.

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Witold Rybczynski