Palazzo del Te

Palazzo del Te

Architect Giulio Romano

Date 1524–34

Movement Mannerism

Located at Mantua, Italy


The Palazzo del Te was commissioned by Duke Francesco II Gonzaga as a place to house his mistress and welcome Emperor Charles V. In accordance with the surrounding landscape, Giulio keeps the elevation of the structure low. Just as Ammanati had done with the Palazzo Pitti, Giulio adds bands of rustication and keeps the supporting columns engaged—very much a part of the façade as a whole.


Like Michelangelo, Giulio seemingly throws all convention to the wind; the keystones in the façade seem ready to burst, though the windows below them are blind, and the triglyphs between columns are lowered, so that it appears the frieze above may fall; Giulio even places a pediment above the one true arch—structurally unnecessary and certainly against all convention. It is very possible that Giulio employed these aberrations so as to place his (purportedly egotistical) patron beyond the bounds of reasonable or accepted convention.