Donato Bramante

Renaissance Architect and Painter

General Information

Donato Bramante (born Donato de Angelo di Antonio, in Urbino, Italy) is considered one of the most important classical architects of the Renaissance. His work was considered to rival that of the ancients, and he was sponsored by the Sforzas and popes. He spent most of his life in Milan but later moved permanently to Rome in 1500 after the French ended the rule of his patrons, the Sforzas, in Milan and the area surrounding it. He died there on the 11th of March in 1514.


Donato Bramante probably received a formal education. He may also have studied as a painter of perspective under Andrea Mantegna and Piero della Francesca. However, little is known about his early life, including his lifestyle.

Types of Works

While Bramante was an architect, some of his work indicates training in painting perspective. However, most of his work was classicist architecture, as he contributed to works such as St. Peter's Basilica and Piazza Ducale.

Tempietto of San Pietro

One of Bramante's more well-known works is the Tempietto of San Pietro. The Tempietto of San Pietro is a rounded, classicist martyrium, built over the supposed location of St. Peter's crucifixion around 1502. The structure has a dome for a roof and an external ring of doric columns, and while resembling ancient constructions in aspects of color and general style, has a Christian cross on the dome, indicating Christian significance. Located in Montorio, Rome, the building is somewhat diminutive, but still displays many elements of ancient architecture while maintaining simplicity.
I find this work interesting because while it contains classical constructs such as columns and a dome, as well as the ideals of symmetrical and unified design, the tempietto gives an impression of originality that coexists with the classical ideals of its creator.

Works Cited

"Donato Bramante." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.

"Donato Bramante." International Dictionary of Architects and Architecture. Gale, 1993. Biography in Context. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.

"Donato Bramante." Merriam Webster's Biographical Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1995. Biography in Context. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

Rome: Palazzo dei Tribunali Plan First floor. Donato Bramante. 1508. In ARTstor [database online]. [cited 3 December 2015]. Available from ARTstor, Inc., New York, New York.

San Pietro in Montorio (Rome, Italy); tempietto. Donato Bramante. 1502. In ARTstor [database online]. [cited 3 December 2015]. Available from ARTstor, Inc., New York, New York.