commission with the assistance of Emilio de Fabris the grand dukes architecture

Commission with the assistance of emilio de fabris

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commission, with the assistance of Emilio de Fabris, the grand duke’s architecture advisor. The events of national unification reinforced their efforts and under royal Savoy patronage a symbolic cornerstone was laid on 22 April 1860. Completion of this monument from the heyday of the city-state in the new era of national unity would provide a potent symbol for the new regime. Brunelleschi’s cupola had always been a symbol of particular pride in Tuscany, and now the political shadow of the Duomo would be extended across all Italy.“To the former municipal aspirations, we now join the national idea,” declared the initiative’s spokesmen,“this sacred monument will represent two memorable epochs of our history: Italy of the communes and Italy of national unity.” Forty-two design proposals were submitted to the competition, which was open to all Europeans, and these were then exhibited to the public without the names or origins of their authors in 1863.A jury reflecting the national import of the project was assembled, including Boito from Milan (at twenty-seven, the youngest juror), Alvino from Naples, and Antonelli from Turin. (The pope declined 206 the architecture of modern italy
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to send a representative from Rome.) With Baccani as president, the jury found none of the entries satisfactory. Many projects lifted design ideas from other roughly comparable cathedrals, some had exotic northern European motifs, some had classical touches with a bewildering array of crowning elements. Only three, noncommittal prize awards were distributed, one each to Carlo Ceppi (designer of the Turin train station), Mariano Falcini (the Florentine), and Vilhelm Valdemar Petersen (a Dane). The competition was therefore reopened in a second invitational round of ten “celebrated architects” that included six of the seven former jury members.When Ceppi refused to participate, de Fabris was invited.With so many jurors now contestants, a new panel needed to be formed, though the idea of their jurying their own projects did occur to them.The aged Pietro Selvatico was put in charge, but everyone he invited to the jury declined: Poggi, Promis, Mengoni, Resasco, and, setting sights higher,Viollet-le-Duc. He had to settle for a motley crew and at the last moment his eyesight failed him and Massimo d’Azeglio, the Florentine political representative in the national government, was pressured into presiding over the jury. The public exhibition of the second competition entries opened in 1864.Antonelli proposed a characteristically bold articulation of the interior structure, with a gigantic vaulted portico extending off the facade. Petersen altered earlier peaked gables for a flat top.The exhibition became the locus of a litigious free-for-all of opinionated Florentines—like Guelfs versus Ghibellines,Alvino complained. Antonelli’s project was dismissed with a sure epithet:“American.” It
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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