Pantheon was to be again reappropriated its history revised and focused for the

Pantheon was to be again reappropriated its history

This preview shows page 235 - 237 out of 280 pages.

Pantheon, was to be again reappropriated, its history revised and focused for the third Rome.The construction of the monument on this site required the demolition of the tower of Pope Paul III and other structures connected to the Church of Santa Maria in Ara Ceoli and to the Palazzo Venezia, once a papal residence. Placing the national monument on this site would redraw the symbolic map of Rome, designating the Capitoline Hill—as it was in antiquity—the epicenter of the city. The second competition for the monument opened in 1882 with a program that specified an equestrian statue of the monarch against a tall architectural backdrop on the hill.All 101 entries tended toward the gargantuan size characteristic of European monumental architecture of this period.The winner of the competition was a young architect who had studied with Luigi Rosso in Rome, Giuseppe Sacconi in collaboration with the sculptor Eugenio Maccagnani. It is, in the context of the competition, a comparatively restrained design of ramparts and terraces, with flights of steps that rise to a concave screen of Corinthian columns. Bronze quadrigas atop the end pavilions can be seen from most points in the city, and the structure below is covered with sculpture. Figures in the pediments and attic, processional reliefs, allegorical statue groups in white marble or gilded bronze, fountains, altars, pedestals and inscriptions—all these serve as the setting for a colossal equestrian statue of Vittorio Emanuele II at the center of the monument. Construction was begun in 1885 with the assistance of dozens of sculptors selected from across the nation. Enrico Chiaradia designed an equestrian statue so colossal that the only space large enough for his studio was the concert auditorium in the ruins of the Mausoleum of Augustus.Work on the monument continued for three decades, long after Sacconi’s premature death, under the direction of Manfredi, Piacentini, and Koch in a building works committee, much like a cathedral’s fabbrica , and was still incomplete when it was inaugurated in 1911 during the celebrations of the nation’s fiftieth anniversary. The “Vittoriano” is characteristic of the late-nineteenth-century monument: big and white. It imposes itself upon its beholder with its 235 the challenge of tradition, 1750–1900
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colossal scale and explicit symbols.Above all, it is brilliantly white, constructed not of Roman travertine but of Brescian botticcino limestone, selected as much for its beauty as for the minister of public works’s connections in the Brescian quarry business.The architectonic and decorative images of its decor are drawn from a wide repertory of forms, but each element conveys an appropriate meaning through the logic of its historical association. Sacconi’s sources for the architectural setting ranged from the ancient sanctuary of Fortuna at Praenestae, known at the time through Palladio’s reconstruction, to the “Spanish” Steps, a model with political resonance when we recall that the steps were originally to have been the setting for an equestrian statue of King Louis XIV.
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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