Francesco Zorzi, also known as Francesco Giorgio Veneto (1460–1540) was an Italian Renaissance philosopher, theologian and humanist. He specialized in Greek and Hebrew, studied Bible and kabbalah and was in correspondence with Giovanni Pico della Mirandola.
In his first treatise De harmonia mundi Francesco Giorgio proposed an idea of the Universe created according to the universal system of proportion, which may be studied as laws of mathematics used by architects. According to Francesco Giorgio’s opinion, this proportion shall be repeated in architectural practice. He figured out himself the proportion of the interior of the temple San Francesco della Vigna in Venice rebuilt by Jacopo Sansovino and finished by Andrea Palladio.
Allegorical buildings reflecting the concept of ideal proportion appear in majority of philosophical and architectural treatises, such as Hypnerotomachia Poliphili by Francesco Colonna, Trattato di Architettura by Antonio Filarete and Da Pintura Antiga by Francisco de Hollanda.
We will analyze the development of the idea of “Universe as the ideal building” on the example of the treatise by Francesco Giorgio in the context of the architectural theory of Renaissance: we study architectural images, proposed by Francesco Giorgio; analyse system of proportions; review his architectural vocabulary. We study the original latin edition: Francesco Giorgio, De harmonia mundi totius cantica tria, Paris, A. Berthelin, 1545 of BNF, Paris, as well as the translation of Guy Le Fevre de La Boderie, Francesco Giorgio, L’Harmonie du monde, divisée en trois cantiques, Paris, 1578 of RSL, Moscow.