Andrea Palladio: Italian Architect Ielts Answers and Questions

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Andrea Palladio: Italian Architect IELTS Reading Passage

Andrea Palladio: Italian Architect

A new exhibition celebrates Palladio’s architecture 500 years on

60 km west of Venice, in Veneto, lies a beautiful and affluent city, Vicenza. Since the 16th century, aristocratic families have settled and conducted agricultural activities in the area. However, Andrea Palladio, an architect so prominent that a neoclassical style known as Palladian, is the city’s main claim to fame. The International Centre for the Study of Palladio’s Architecture has a legitimate motive for putting on “la grande mostra,” the great show, as the city is a permanent display of some of his best works. He was born 500 years ago, in Padua, to be exact.

The exhibition seems to have the special benefit of being hosted in Palazzo Barbaran da Porto, one of Palladio’s creations. Its striking front is a blend of rustication and embellishment positioned between two rows of exquisite columns. The pediments on the second level alternately curve or point, which is a Palladian hallmark. The atrium’s balanced proportions at the entry open up to a dramatic interior with gorgeous fireplaces and painted ceilings. Palladio’s concept is basic, clean, and still not overcrowded. According to co-curator and architectural historian Howard Bums, the exhibition was planned using the same standards.

Palladio’s family settled in Vicenza, where he apprenticed to become a skilled stonemason; his father was a miller. How miller’s kid ended up becoming a well-known architect was now the question. The exhibition itself has the solution to this. Palladio, as a young man, was a master carver of beautiful and elegant stonework on pillars, doorways, and fireplaces. He was clever, and he was fortunate to find an affluent patron, Gian Giorgio Trissino, a landowner and scholar, who arranged his education, bringing him to Rome in the 1540s to learn the masterpieces of traditional Roman and Greek architecture, as well as the work of other prominent architects of the time such as Donato Bramante and Raphael.

Social mobility was also essential, according to Burns. Entrepreneurs in the Veneto, who benefited financially from agriculture, hired the young local architect to construct both their rural mansions and their urban palaces. The nobility in Venice was eager to hire outstanding artists, thus Palladio was granted the opportunity to design the churches of San Giorgio Maggiore and the Redentore, both of which are visible from the town’s historic center across a water body and have been emblems of his glory.

He attempted to build bridges; his incomplete design for the Rialto Bridge had a massive pediment and columns from a temple. Following a fire at the Ducal Palace, he suggested an alternate design that has a striking similarity to the Banqueting House in Whitehall, London. This is not as unexpected as it seems since Inigo Jones, Palladio’s first pupil from outside Italy, created it.

When Jones traveled to Italy in 1614, he bought a trunk full of the master’s blueprints. These designs then came into the possession of the Dukes of Devonshire and Burlington before being handed over to the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1894. Many of these are presently on exhibit in the Palazzo Barbaran. They show how Palladio used ancient Rome’s architecture as inspiration for his works. Temple architecture, with a prominent peaked roof reinforced by columns and accessible by broad stairs, was the central theme of both his rural and urban projects.

Palladio’s work for a wealthy landowner offends unreconstructed critics on the Italian left, but the exhibition also includes ideas for affordable accommodation in Venice. “Quattro Libri dell’Architettura,” a book that Palladio authored and illustrated, has contributed to his popularity on a global basis. His impact was evident in St. Petersburg and Charlottesville, Virginia, where Thomas Jefferson built a Palladian mansion that he named Monticello.

Vicenza’s exhibition has miniatures of the major structures along with paintings of Palladio’s patrons and professors by Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto; the drawings of his Venetia structures are all by Canaletto, no less. This is an austere exhibition; most of the paintings are minuscule and faded, and there are no kid-friendly sideshows. However, the effect of the exhibition’s symmetrical lines and pleasing proportions is to instill a sense of benevolent calm in spectators. Palladio is regarded as history’s greatest therapeutic architect.

The exhibition “Palladio, 500 Anni: La Grande Mostra” is on display in Vicenza’s Palazzo Barbaran da Porto until January 6th, 2009. From January 31 to April 13, the collection continues its exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London before heading on to Barcelona and Madrid.

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Andrea Palladio: Italian Architect IELTS Reading Questions

Questions 1-5

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the Reading Passage?
In boxes, 1-5 on your answer sheet, write,

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if the information is not given in the passage

  1. The exhibition is being held in a building that has been renovated recently.
  2. Palladio’s father was an architect.
  3. Palladio designed structures for both affluent as well as poor people.
  4. The exhibition had paintings and portraits of various individuals done by renowned painters.
  5. The alternative design for Ducal Palace in Venice created by Palladio was based on the English structure, the Banqueting House.

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Questions 6-9

Answer the questions below

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 6-9 on your answer sheet.

6. Before becoming an architect, Andrea Palladio was training for which profession?
7. Palladio’s work was massively influenced by which kind of Ancient Roman structures?
8. According to the writer, what should the audience feel while visiting the exhibition?
9. Palladio’s education in the architectural field was organized by whom?

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Questions 10-13

This reading passage has eight paragraphs, A-H.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Write the correct letter A-H, in boxes 10-13, in your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.

10. Paintings by famous artists were hung in the exhibition hall.
11. Palladio’s design had a striking resemblance with another building situated in London.
12. Andrea Palladio wrote a book, which contributed to his popularity.
13. The exhibition was held in the building designed by Andrea Palladio himself.

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Renewable Energy IELTS Reading Question with Answer

Andrea Palladio: Italian Architect reading answers

6. Stonemason
7. Temple
8. Benevolent calm
9. Gian Giorgio Trissino 
10. H 
11. E 
12. G
13. B


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