What is a Palladian window? (with photo)

The Palladian window is also called the Venetian window because Palladio mainly worked in Venice.

A true Palladian window is a very large window divided into three tall rectangular sections. The central and largest window is topped by a semicircular arch window with a base of the same width as the cut. It is flanked by two narrower windows. Windows are usually closed by pilasters or columns. Today, the term Palladian window is also used to refer to a tall rectangular window topped by an arched window.

Palladian architecture, including the Palladian window, is a style of architecture loosely based on Andrea Palladio’s interpretation of the classical Roman temple style. Working between 1530 and 1580, he built many beautiful villas for the rich and powerful and wrote a book on architecture. The style he developed was popular throughout Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. Inigo Jones translated Palladio’s books into English and built the first large Palladian-style house in England, the Queen’s House in Greenwich. Thomas Jefferson studied Palladio’s writing and followed his principles when designing Monticello and many public buildings. The Palladian style continued to evolve, and today the Palladian window is very popular.

As Palladio worked almost entirely in Venice, the Palladian window is also called the Venetian window. A Palladian window is sometimes labeled a Serlian window because it was mentioned in the writings of architect Sebastiano Serlio. It was Palladio, however, who popularized this window design.

The Palladian window is an elegant and graceful design, viewed from inside or outside the building. Early Palladian windows were not covered at all, as they were carefully placed to ensure privacy and control light. Today, however, some sort of window treatment for Palladian windows may be necessary to make the occupants comfortable.

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Some Palladian window treatments involve covering the lower windows and leaving the arched window bare. Curtains and hanging blinds are popular choices, as are curtains. A custom window covering in a matching style can be ordered for the arched window if homeowners prefer a unified look. Sometimes the center window is left empty, while the side windows and arched window are decorated in a corresponding style. Another popular solution is to cover just the arched window or embellish it with fabric wrapped around the curved edge.

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