Left: Palladio, Villa Rotunda, 1550-70
Lower Left: Lord Burlington, Chiswick House,
Lower Right, Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, c.
Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, also uses Palladio’s Villa Rotonda as a starting point but departs even
further from it than Chiswick House does. Again, the temple front stands before the main body of the
house, which is surmounted by a dome. The form of the house is much more complex, however, and the
front and back present entirely different views. The garden façade particularly adds a complexity to the
outer walls and unifies the entire building with a balustrade along the roofline, which was probably inspired
by houses Jefferson saw on a trip to France in the 1780s. Jefferson was much less concerned with formal
grandeur and much more concerned with practical matters than his European contemporaries were. He
used locally available materials—brick and wood—and sized the rooms according to their function.