Antolinis vision was not embroidered with academic refulgence but simplified in

Antolinis vision was not embroidered with academic

This preview shows page 93 - 95 out of 280 pages.

Antolini’s vision was not embroidered with academic refulgence but simplified in neoclassical stringency.The volumes were articulated, the surfaces made austere, and the space rigorously symmetrical.Antolini was clearly influenced by the ancient forms Jacques-Louis David employed for his famous Oath of the Horatii , which had once been exhibited in Rome.The commissioners’ report expounded on the project’s inherent heroic profile, its stout Doric proportions equated with stolid republican virtues.The metaphoric value of the column made clear in the festival ephemera was joined to the rational functionalism of permanent useful construction, thus uniting the Doric style to public utility. Similar to Ledoux’s salts complex at Chaux, then under construction but still unpublished, the Foro Bonaparte combined science, art, and commerce.Antolini’s gigantic proposal was a large-scale urban plan guided by a clear governing ideology and its architectural form was considered an active promoter of society.Antolini presented his project in Paris in May 1801. Unlike Etienne-Louis Boullée’s visionary drawings to which Antolini’s work might easily have been compared, the Foro Bonaparte was imminently realizable. Milanese confidence in the project preceded the presentation, and on 30 April 1801 the cornerstone was placed.The ceremony, orchestrated by Paolo Bargigli, included a Doric temple, burning urns, and a truncated 93 the challenge of tradition, 1750–1900
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Column of Trajan surmounted by a statue of Napoleon. Speeches noted that the project would promote commercial strength and social stability. In June 1802, construction was halted by the Parisian supervisors who had assessed its escalating costs.At the same time, Napoleon was seeking to present a more moderate governmental imagery in architecture, as proposed to him by Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine, his official architects.The commission was asked to rework the Foro project under more utilitarian and less celebratory aims. The Milanese were embarrassed by the reprimand, and enthusiasm for Antolini suddenly shrank. He was shunted off to Bologna where, as a doddering professor of architecture, he ruminated unceasingly before his bemused students on the lost opportunity “to give a proper order and form to the fundamental ideas and to create the theoretical metaphysics of architecture.” Nonetheless,Antolini’s unexecuted plan exerted a magnetic influence on Milanese urban planning. Despite its rejection, the Foro Bonaparte was included in the 1807 city map as if completed.The area, however, would be laid out in far more modest fashion and cost by Luigi Canonica. Under a revised financial scheme, just disencumbering the castle was deemed a sufficient recognition of the progress the French brought to Milan. Canonica carried on the project with Piermarinian professionalism closely following economized directives. He traveled to Paris to study the examples of Napoleon’s official architecture. Canonica cannot boast any masterpieces among
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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