citizens of Paris applauded themselves as guardians of the art of the free

Citizens of paris applauded themselves as guardians

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citizens of Paris applauded themselves as guardians of the art of the free world.The conflict between the revolutionary rhetoric of freedom and liberty and this cultural spoliation did not escape Napoleon’s critics, particularly Quatremère de Quincy, who protested that works of art and their historical context of origin could not be separated. 89 the challenge of tradition, 1750–1900
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the architecture of modern italy 2.2 Arrival of a convoy of statues and works of art at the Champs de Mars for the Musée Napoléon, Paris, 1798. Engraving by De Vinck
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91 the challenge of tradition, 1750–1900 For Italians, being for the first time on the bitter end of such a triumphal procession sharpened a consciousness of the fragility of their cultural heritage.Artworks, the icons of history itself, had become commodities to be sold or stolen. In return, the modernity Napoleon promoted in the form of reasoned urban development was perhaps of far greater importance for Italy’s continued livelihood.The architecture and urbanism Napoleon left behind describes the benefits. milan When Napoleon arrived in Milan, a considerable upheaval in Milanese society was expected.After the benevolent Hapsburg rule, the Milanese had much to lose, not so much in terms of their historical patrimony, but in advancements in social progress. Napoleon, however, continued many of the programs of public works improvement begun under Austrian rule, and private initiative soon picked up.Viceroy Beauharnais, like Archduke Ferdinand before him, pursued public building projects to elevate and affirm Milan’s capital status. Beauharnais gathered an entirely new group of architects to carry out the projects. Piermarini’s monopoly now broken, Jacobin radicals from all over flocked to take up the opportunities offered in Milan. Piermarini’s subtlety, his pilasters and linearism, became anathema; a bold, columnar architecture reflected the new political order. Luigi Canonica, Piermarini’s student, adapted the Brera program of instruction to a more simplified formal repertory. Giuseppe Bossi, second in command at the Brera, impelled young designers to careers of political action through the arts.Architecture was a means of achieving social goals, he claimed, inciting civil virtues to unify the people. For Bossi, the forms of antiquity manifested the politically correct symbolism of republican virtue. Paraphrasing Napoleon, Bossi declared that a state cannot have life without the arts, and further clarified his position by contrasting the present resurgence of the classical style against the muddled Middle
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Ages, in which, many held, there was no art and no nation. A Festa della Federazione was also staged in Milan, complete with a triumphal arch, patriotic altar, and liberty trees. Monuments to Napoleon’s triumphs were planned: a commemorative column modeled on Trajan’s, and a Temple to Immortality with columns “in the Paestum order.” Indeed, the Milanese praised Napoleon and aimed to prove themselves worthy of his approbation. Projects of
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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