The whole is a spacious and monumental contribution for a city long associated

The whole is a spacious and monumental contribution

This preview shows page 155 - 158 out of 280 pages.

attention away from each other in the hall and toward the stage.The whole is a spacious and monumental contribution for a city long associated with a crowded and boisterous port. Barabino can be credited with providing Genoa with its first collective social symbols: its public cemetery, major piazza, and new theater of well-tuned civic imagery. 155 the challenge of tradition, 1750–1900
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156 the architecture of modern italy romanticism in tuscany Siena in the heart of Tuscany had always been bypassed on any Grand Tour, but the nineteenth century and the Romantic era significantly invigorated the cultural self-image of the region. Isolated in the hills with its unfinished cathedral and oddly shaped campo —all “detestably Gothic” to early modern eyes—Siena had lost its political autonomy and its artistic voice to Florence in the sixteenth century.With the exception of some minor works by Vanvitelli and hometown son Paolo Posi, the modern era left Siena behind. But from this provincial backwater emerged a fervent Romantic genius:Agostino Fantastici. Fantastici went to Rome where he filled his sketchbook with images drawn from Piranesi’s plates and from the Villa Borghese. After the excitement in Napoleonic Rome died down, Fantastici returned to his native region to rebuild the cathedral of Montalcino. Its high altar is remarkably similar to Piranesi’s heterogeneous syntheses. He modernized the palace interiors of Sienese noblemen and designed the fittings for the shops and caffès of its bourgeoisie. Fantastici’s most complete expression was the Villa “Il Pavone” for Mario Bianchi Bandinelli. Mario’s father, Giulio, was the Napoleonic maire of the city, and his palace, refurbished in 1802, was the mirror of cosmopolitan aspiration.When Giulio died in 1824, an era of pomp died with him and his son retreated to introspective moodiness at his suburban villa.Taken together, the Bandinellis express the shift from Napoleonic neoclassicism to Restoration Romanticism—the former official, public, and confident, the latter intimate, private, and exploratory. Fantastici was commissioned in 1825 to rebuild the villa and gardens.A doleful pyramid faces the entrance gates. Inside, a sequence of atmospheric, tree-filled spaces lead to a melancholic pond and an Etruscan-like tomb.The villa rises in the sun above, a shining rational beacon over the shadowy hermit’s retreat below.The scene was illustrated by the villa’s decorative painter,Alessandro Maffei, complete with a romantic figure lost in the pages of a Gothic novel. Visitors to “Il Pavone” were led through the experience of “the most varied scenes and of the greatest magical and picturesque effect
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nature can provide,” according to Fantastici, In his Vocabolario , or dictionary of architectural terms, Fantastici also explained that points of view were to be carefully planned “from which a building should create its true and best appearance.” The rebuilt villa structure is characterized by its pure volumes, a composition of simple forms that, Fantastici suggests,“could be best appreciated by moonlight.” Inside, Fantastici’s furnishing and Maffei’s wall paintings referenced Hadrian’s Villa. Egyptian allusions here and
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  • Spring '17
  • Archt. De Veyra

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