In contrast to the hard, geometric brutalism of Florentine architecture, Roman Renaissance architecture represented a true return to Classical proportion, with buildings that sported classical columns, structural elements and decorative forms, but also integrated new ideas from Florence, like the grand palazzo block. Although many of the architects in Rome came from up north, they were inspired by the old ruins, creating an interplay with the Ancient Roman structures throughout the city. Roman architects saw themselves as fulfilling all of human history, creating the essential expression of human will through the perfect cityscape.

Out of this tradition of formalized expression came the great Renaissance architects Bramante and Michelangelo.

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