Serlio, Sebastiano [key], 1475–1554, Italian Renaissance architect and theoretician, b. Bologna. He was in Rome from 1514 until the sack in 1527 and worked under Baldassare Peruzzi. Few traces exist of his buildings in Venice, where he lived from 1527 to 1540. Invited to France by Francis I, he appears to have served in an advisory capacity for the construction of the palace at Fontainebleau. He designed several châteaus in France; the only one that has survived, despite alterations, is that of Ancy-le-Franc (c.1546), near Tonnerre in Burgundy. Serlio's major contribution was his treatise on architecture (eight books, 1537–75). Intended as an illustrated handbook for architects, the volumes, separately published, were highly influential in France, the Netherlands, and England as a conveyor of the Italian Renaissance style; the treatise was also an influence in theatrical scene design and stage lighting. An early manuscript of it is preserved in the Avery Architectural Library, Columbia.
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