Andrea Palladio (1508 - 1580) was one of the most important and influential architects of 16th-century Italy. He adopted aspects of ancient Roman architecture (particularly the orders) and the principles of their application, as outlined by Vitruvius. He worked exclusively in Venice and the Veneto where he designed churches, civic architecture and villas.

Palladianism is the name given to the work of his followers, who were inspired by his buildings and ideas as embodied in his 'Quattro Libri' (Four Books of Architecture). His first follower in Britain was Inigo Jones (1573 - 1652).