When he took over in 1527 Scarpagnino tried to bring the facade in line with more modern trends in architecture, but his understanding of classical principles of design was less than his knowledge of individual motifs. The great pedimented left-hand portal reflects a celebrated Roman triumphal arch, the Arco dei Gavi in Verona. The use of a single broad pediment to crown each pair of windows on the upper storey also has a respectable nearby antique precedent in the Porta dei Borsari in Verona. Although the free-standing columns on high bases with their heavy projecting cornices emphatically command the raking view of the approach, the intricately carved garlands that swathe them seem to distract attention from their role as bold framing elements.
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