was not easy for the jury to operate with any serenity but they proceeded

Was not easy for the jury to operate with any

This preview shows page 207 - 210 out of 280 pages.

was not easy for the jury to operate with any serenity, but they proceeded, oblivious to guiding principles that could have been gleaned from the previouis competition experience.After a few weeks’ discussion, in January 1865, they chose de Fabris’s design. According to the architect, its three tall gables were a characteristic feature of fourteenth-century churches, and their triangular planes consonant with the vault structures of the interior. No one was convinced, least of all d’Azeglio, the jury president. Polemical bile continued to spill, while the lack of a conclusion jeopardized Florence’s reputation on the eve of the transfer of the government. Finally,Viollet-le-Duc was secured as an expert 207 the challenge of tradition, 1750–1900
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the architecture of modern italy 4.14 Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, facade mock-up trials. Doctored photograph, 6 December 1883
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consultant, and it was hoped his opinion would be definitive. Treading his characteristically subtle line between archeology and invention, the famous French theorist stated that they needed to imagine what new thing Arnolfo would have created. Everyone went back to the drawing boards for a third, exasperating competition. Selvatico, who had undergone successful cataract surgery, returned in person to guarantee an outcome.Viollet-le-Duc declined the invitation to join the official jury, but they managed to secure the involvement of the German architectural theorist Gottfried Semper. The same indefatigable architects were back: Petersen, Falcini, Mattas, Baccani,Alvino,Antonelli, Boito, and de Fabris.After the briefest public exhibition of their projects in 1867, the jury chose de Fabris again by the slightest of margins. Suspect irregularities, a three-month delay in the publication of the jury deliberations, and a premature notification to de Fabris that he had won, caused a shakedown and further delay. Emilio de Fabris had studied off and on with Baccani in the 1820s, and traveled on scholarship between Rome and Venice, where he met Selvatico. Evidently, they maintained a long and fruitful friendship.When Baccani invited him to participate in the second competition, de Fabris’s career was jump-started with an academic post and the commission to add new rooms at the Accademia to house Michelangelo’s David (moved there in 1883 for safekeeping, and thereby leaving another simulacrum outside in the Piazza della Signoria). Selvatico had been behind de Fabris all along, finding him a malleable man—not too creative, not too principled—perfectly suited for the cathedral’s messy collective design process. De Fabris’s designs were successful for his uncanny knack at synthesizing so many propositions into one or two ideal images of Santa Maria del Fiore. Four piers articulate the three portals of the facade, the central rising to an elaborate tabernacle with a statue of the Madonna and a horizontal range of statue niches.Above the corbelled balustrade that belts the entire church, gables of tall equilateral triangles with mosaic
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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