Sebastiano Serlio

Revolutionary Architect: A True Renaissance Man

His Life:

Sebastiano Serlio was born in Bologna, Italy in 1475. He spent most of his life in Italy and settled down in Paris, France during his later years. He became an apprentice under Baldassare Peruzzi to study architecture in 1514. He was known for his paintings and revolutionized theaters and stage appearance throughout Italy, which influenced the rest of Europe. He published many books about his knowledge of architecture and theater design. Many of his innovations involved special lighting and other effects. After settling in Paris in 1540, he became very poor and died in 1554.

Plan for an Auditorium

The above drawing was created by Serlio in 1545. It can be found in his treatise, D'Architettura. The significance of this piece is that it shows Serlio's innovations to the modern theater. He makes use of curving the seats around the stage and using stadium style seating, where each row is placed higher than the previous. This work could convey skeptism, because it questions the original design of theaters during this time.


"Sebastiano Serlio." International Dictionary of Theatre. Vol. 3. Gale, 1996. Biography in Context. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.

"ARTstor Library." ARTstor Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.