In Antonio da Sangallo the Younger's Reactions to the Pantheon: An Early Modern Case of Operative Criticism, Francesco Benelli looks at three annotated drawings by Antonio in which he analyzed features of the Roman Pantheon. The architect's analysis of this ancient monument drew on both his close, methodical, and pragmatic investigations of the building and his deep knowledge of Vitruvian theory. Together, the drawings and text represent an unprecedented critique of a building then almost universally admired. Yet Antonio's dependence on Vitruvius, who belonged to a different period of Roman history than did the Pantheon, led to certain discrepancies within his conclusions. Nonetheless, Antonio's study marks a new level of professional confidence, objectivity, and critical detachment among Renaissance architects, as ancient monuments were no longer seen as perfect and unquestionable, but as sources to be praised, criticized, utilized, adapted, or ignored according to the specific needs of modern architectural practice.

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