napoleons interest in archeology Napoleonic era administration in Rome also had

Napoleons interest in archeology napoleonic era

This preview shows page 120 - 123 out of 280 pages.

napoleon’s interest in archeology Napoleonic-era administration in Rome also had a decisive effect on the progress of archeology in developing clear programs and methods for uncovering, restoring, and assessing ancient remains. Large government subsidies were poured in through the Commission des Embellissements for the excavation and restoration of the Roman Forum.All post-antique accretions around the Forum’s fragmentary vestiges were stripped and the lower register of the monuments disinterred to remove the layers of the valley’s sediment and reveal the stratum of ancient times. On 21 April 1811, the anniversary of Romulus’s legendary founding of the city, triumphant citizens marched once again on the Sacred Way. In unexcavated sections, trees were planted in green colonnades to form public promenades. Like the Piazza del Popolo and the Pincian gardens, the disencumbered Forum was reconceived as a social space, focused on the experience of ancient history. Its monuments stood free from the passage of time in a easily accessible presentation. French interests in Roman ruins had a further agenda. Rome was declared an imperial city second only to Paris. French academicians assiduously studied the ancient Roman monuments and their urban relationships, as evidenced by the Arc du Carousel constructed in Paris.Architectural ideas were not the only commodity in this exchange. In addition to the acquisition of several prominent Roman artworks, Napoleon attempted to transport the colossal Column of Emperor Trajan.This proving impossible, he had a bronze version made with scenes of his own exploits and erected it 120 the architecture of modern italy
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the challenge of tradition, 1750–1900 2.19 Excavations at the Column of Trajan, Rome, with boundary wall by Pietro Bianchi, 1812–13
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in Place Vendôme in Paris.The original, left in situ and restored by Percier, was the locus of intense activity.The built-up area around the column was cleared for excavation by expropriating several convents. In 1813 the granite columns of a basilica and its marble floor were uncovered and the ensemble of Trajan’s magnificent complex began to emerge.Valadier proposed enclosing the perimeter of the excavated site within a circus form, half-rounded on both ends, but this was rejected in favor of Pietro Bianchi’s plan for a rectangle for the basilica and a half-circle around the column base.The project was continued after the French retreat without interruption under Pius VII. The investigations around the Column of Trajan were the first in a continual series of excavations that changed irreparably the nature of the city of Rome. In the eighteenth century, the ground was a storehouse from which goods were extracted, reintegrated, and displayed in collections. In the next century, following on the experience of uncovered Pompeii, the original architectural and urbanistic environment of the archeological site became increasingly significant. Carlo Fea helped to define new goals of understanding the topography of antiquity.Visitors were encouraged to climb to the
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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