The cornerstone for the new church was laid in Possagno on 11 July 1819 amid

The cornerstone for the new church was laid in

This preview shows page 149 - 151 out of 280 pages.

The cornerstone for the new church was laid in Possagno on 11 July 1819, amid rustic banquet festivities during which Canova was honored like a demigod.The architect-donor was an exacting taskmaster, however, requiring manual labor from the parishioners on Sundays.The idea was that the temple might rise as if from the spontaneous ardor of the people, as they imagined the Gothic cathedrals did, and in turn focus the moral being of the population as Enlightenment theory proposed. The Tempio Canoviano is a domed rotunda with a columned front and an apse at the back, isolated above the village of Possagno against a verdant backdrop of the Dolomite foothills. Inside, the 149 the challenge of tradition, 1750–1900
Image of page 149
Pantheon model is followed with some significant alterations: the purity of the volume is accentuated by the elimination of subsidiary divisions like an attic level. Canova’s synthesis of major historical archetypes is immediately striking. His method was, he explained,“to follow in the execution of this work the example of a few illustrious and distinguished monuments without actually inventing anything new.There is nothing here that is not antique in its essence.” In the same reductive process toward pure form and concentrated sentiment that marked his sculpture, Canova’s creative impulse conjoined the revered features of architectural history: the Greek columns, the Roman vault, the Christian apse, in a symbolic synthesis. Luciolli, witness to the project’s inception, extolled Canova’s “sublime idea” of uniting three diverse formal archetypes.Today, scholars grimace as they excuse the inelegant junctures of the composition, blaming Bosio, Selva, or Canova’s own inexperience. But the clear original ideas and meticulous control that characterizes all of Canova’s work prohibited any laxity. Melchiore Missirini, who was the first to write on the completed structure in 1833, comments exactingly on the legamento , or tying together, of the three parts of the composition. It is a perfect juncture, he says, unlike the original Pantheon in Rome. Possagno’s geometric alignments work in perfect correspondence: cornice lines connect, heights of pediment and cylinder match, the rotunda’s inner diameter determines the portico’s width, yet the parts remain distinct.There is a poetry in their contrast. Each part—Greek portico, Roman dome, Christian apse—is emblematic of a progress of civilization, like Canina’s historiography at Villa Borghese, now for Canova with a layer of Christian values.The synthesis of the three forms may also be read as an architectural iconography of Trinitarianism, as suggested by the portico’s inscription. This new parish church is located outside the loosely defined village, up a path rising on the temple’s left side. In numerous period views, the village is either minuscule or altogether omitted, leaving the pristine construction set in sharp contrast against a natural background.The temple is a titanic vision, a scenography of the sublime. In the continuum of Italian architecture, at the crucial
Image of page 150
Image of page 151

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 280 pages?

  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors