Luciano Laurana
Luciano Laurana (c. 1420 – 1479) was a Croatian
Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries. There are around 4 million Croats living inside Croatia and up to 4.5 million throughout the rest of the world. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have...

 or Italian architect and engineer from the historic Vrana settlement near the town of Zadar
Zadar is a city in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea. It is the centre of Zadar county and the wider northern Dalmatian region. Population of the city is 75,082 citizens...

 in Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

, Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

. After education by his father Martin in Vrana settlement, he worked mostly in Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 during the late 15th century. He was principal designer of the Palazzo Ducale
Palazzo Ducale, Urbino
The Ducal Palace is a Renaissance building in the Italian city of Urbino in the Marche. One of the most important monuments in Italy, it is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.-History:...

 of Urbino
Urbino is a walled city in the Marche region of Italy, south-west of Pesaro, a World Heritage Site notable for a remarkable historical legacy of independent Renaissance culture, especially under the patronage of Federico da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino from 1444 to 1482...

 and one of the main figures in 15th-century Italian architecture. He considerably influenced the development of Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance...

. His projects were accompanied with notes in the Croatian glagolitic script
Glagolitic alphabet
The Glagolitic alphabet , also known as Glagolitsa, is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. The name was not coined until many centuries after its creation, and comes from the Old Slavic glagolъ "utterance" . The verb glagoliti means "to speak"...

, as witnessed by the famous Bernardo Baldi. He was a relative of the sculptor Francesco Laurana
Francesco Laurana
Francesco Laurana, also known as Francesco de la Vrana was a Dalmatian-born sculptor and medallist. He is considered as both Croatian and Italian sculptor.-Life and works:...



Laurana was born in Vrana, near Zadar
Zadar is a city in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea. It is the centre of Zadar county and the wider northern Dalmatian region. Population of the city is 75,082 citizens...

  in Croatia. Then it was a part of Venetian Republic, since Ladislaus of Naples sold his rights to the kingdom of Dalmatia for 100,000 ducats in 1409. Later in life, the Italians in Urbino called him Schiavone, a term meaning "Slav" in Old Italian. Little is known about his early years. His father Martin was a stonecutter in Zadar, who worked together with the famous sculptor Giorgio da Sebenico  on the Šibenik Cathedral
Cathedral of St. James, Šibenik
The Cathedral of St. James inŠibenik, Croatia is a triple-nave basilica with three apses and a dome in the city of Šibenik, Croatia. It is the church of the Catholic Church in Croatia, and the see of the Šibenik diocese. It is also the most important architectural monument of the Renaissance in...


Around 1465 he is known to have collaborated in Mantua
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy and capital of the province of the same name. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family, made it one of the main artistic, cultural and notably musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole...

 with Leon Battista Alberti. From 1466 to 1472 he directed the works of the new palace commissioned by Federico III da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino. The exact attribution of the works is still disputed, as it is known that also Francesco di Giorgio
Francesco di Giorgio
Francesco di Giorgio Martini was an Italian painter of the Sienese School and a sculptor, as well as being, in Nikolaus Pevsner's terms, "one of the most interesting later Quattrocento architects'" and a visionary architectural theorist; as a military engineer he executed architectural designs and...

 has a role in the construction: the innovative façade, however, is traditionally recognized as Laurana's. Laurana improved Florentine Renaissance tradition by using a system of columns, pilasters, and arcades to produce elegant facades and spacious rooms. In the arcaded palace courtyard Laurana achieved a rhythmic lightness, amplitude, and sophistication far in advance of contemporary Florentine work.

Later he worked in Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 for the king Ferrante II of Naples. From 1472 he was in Pesaro, where he attended the construction of the Castle (Rocca) until his death, occurred in 1479.

The famous anonymous picture La città ideale, housed in the Urbino National Gallery, has been attributed to him. Even if internationally known as an Italian artist, he is today regularly included by Croatians in the overviews of their art, with the name 'Lucijan Vranjanin'.

External links

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