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  Subjects -> ARCHITECTURE (Total: 219 journals)
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Opus Incertum
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2239-5660 - ISSN (Online) 2035-9217
Published by Firenze University Press Homepage  [36 journals]
  • Facciate parlanti. Per un’introduzione

    • Authors: Alessandro Brodini, Maddalena Spagnolo
      Pages: 8 - 16
      Abstract: Since antiquity, buildings have carried inscriptions on their surface. In particular, the habit of decorating façades with epigraphs spread in early modern Europe, in keeping with the all’antica revival. This issue of the journal investigates the role of new and ancient inscriptions (i.e. spolia) in secular and religious architecture from an aesthetic, political, literary and artistic point of view. Expression of the patron’s ambition and culture, the facciate parlanti engaged in a close dialogue with public spaces and their audience. While the inscriptions could be in different languages and media (carved on stone, graffitied or painted), they always retained a particular relationship with the building itself, as well as with the social and urban context.
      PubDate: 2022-11-26
      DOI: 10.36253/opus-14064
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • Parole di pietra. Epigrafia, studio dell’antico e nuove architetture nel
           Rinascimento meridionale

    • Authors: Bianca de Divitiis, Fulvio Lenzo
      Pages: 18 - 37
      Abstract: This article presents the first results of an ongoing research on inscriptions in southern Italy in the late medieval and early modern periods and analyses three different ways in which inscriptions were used to make a façade ‘speak’. In first instance, it analyses two significant examples of ‘written’ buildings, where epigraphic texts played a central role in the overall ‘all’antica’ design of the façade; it subsequently considers those cases in which a monumental and long inscription traversed the entire facade; and finally it focuses on the inscriptions connected to city gates and palace portals, as well as on those cases in which it is the door itself to speak in first person. The cases presented allow us to recognise the ‘speaking façades’ created in the Kingdom of Naples as a self-aware phenomenon which relied on a consolidated tradition regarding the study of local antiquities and on a sense of continuity with both the classical and medieval past.
      PubDate: 2022-11-26
      DOI: 10.36253/opus-14065
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • L’iscrizione latina sulla facciata di palazzo Dedi-Staurenghi a
           Fossombrone. Cultura identitaria e antiquaria tra influssi e ricezioni di
           secondo Quattrocento

    • Authors: Giorgia Aureli
      Pages: 38 - 47
      Abstract: The façade of Palazzo Dedi Staurenghi in Fossombrone represents a significant example of the fifteenth-century architectural trends that derived from the cultural and artistic renewal policies promoted in Urbino and its surroundings by Federico da Montefeltro. Although interrupted, the Latin inscription in the frieze of the windows reveals the professional training and the personal interests of the patron, the jurist Paolo Dedi, an important member of the humanistic and antiquarian cultural society which developed in the town during this time. The paper aims to analyse the role played by the inscription in the general image of the façade and in close relation with the urban space of the square in front of it. Considering the local cultural context, as well as other contemporary building examples, the essay also deals with archival research on the patronage and the humanistic interest in classical epigraphy, focusing on cultural references, treatises and handbooks of Roman capital letters.
      PubDate: 2022-11-26
      DOI: 10.36253/opus-14069
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • Reading Pontano’s “libretto co’ fogli di marmo”

    • Authors: Maia Wellington Gahtan
      Pages: 48 - 59
      Abstract: This article explores Pontano’s funerary tempietto in Naples as a building in which inscribed text supplants the public functions normally accomplished through figural art. According special attention to the twelve sententiae which form the bulk of the exterior inscriptions – the facciate parlanti – the author highlights the uniqueness of placing a collection of ancient maxims on public display and demonstrates how Pontano’s printed gallery actively promotes dialogue with its visitors, embracing conversation, exchange and, ultimately, introspection as much as it celebrates the virtues of the deceased. While all of the sententiae draw from ancient literature and are consonant with Pontano’s moral treatises, only one, “know yourself” derives from the facade of a known building: the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Combined with the chapel’s physical source in a Greek-styled freestanding cenotaph for Herodes Atticus’ wife, Anna Regilla, on the Via Appia, such a conceptual source from ancient Greek thought underscores the Greek, Socratic, Neoplatonic, conversational, and communicative contexts in which Pontano desired his tempietto to be read.
      PubDate: 2022-11-26
      DOI: 10.36253/opus-14070
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • Le dimore dei letterati e il loro corredo epigrafico fra Quattro e

    • Authors: Harald Harald
      Pages: 60 - 69
      Abstract: The essay examines the function of epigraphical decorations in the houses built by some of the most prominent Italian men of letters active between 1450 and 1550: Pontano, Rota and Sannazaro in Naples, Ficino in Florence, Trissino in Vicenza, Ariosto in Ferrara and Giovio in Como. While demonstrating that these dwellings were specifically conceived and used as the homes of men of letters, it also points out a growing reluctance over time to apply inscriptions in their decoration, particularly in the design of the exteriors. This may be connected to the functions of such houses, partly intended to host learned conversations which were stimulated not exclusively by written texts but also by various kinds of material items. This practice could enhance the categorising of their literary dwellers as ‘poeta faber’, thus adding to self-fashioning strategies designed to highlight the versatile talents of these men of letters.
      PubDate: 2022-11-26
      DOI: 10.36253/opus-14071
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • HEC DOMUS EXPECTET: The Palazzetto Sander Façade and Constructing
           Sixteenth-Century German Identity in Rome

    • Authors: Alexis Culotta
      Pages: 70 - 79
      Abstract: This essay examines the chiaroscuro motifs and inscriptions included on the palazzetto Sander on via Santa Maria dell’Anima that was leased and renovated in the early sixteenth century by Johannes Sander von Nordhausen (1455-1544). While past scholarship has illuminated Sander’s biography, little has considered how his role in Rome and in the church might have influenced the decoration of his dwelling’s façade given the difficulty in elucidating the chronology of its development. The general assumption is that Sander proved pivotal to its design, yet scholars tend to conflate past and present when attempting to discern between the original façade and its modifications resulting from late nineteenth-century restorations. Despite this challenge, the palazzetto’s façade merits further inquiry given its significant position both literal – abutting the German Nationalkircke of Santa Maria dell’Anima – and metaphorical – at the hub of German presence in sixteenth-century Rome. This essay thus revisits the façade’s chiaroscuro motifs and inscriptions to argue that it played a role in fashioning Sander’s public persona as patron, cleric, and German diplomat through the ‘artifice’ of antiquity.
      PubDate: 2022-11-26
      DOI: 10.36253/opus-14072
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • Alberto III Pio, Baldassarre Peruzzi e la Sagra di Carpi: la messa in
           scena del Medioevo

    • Authors: Claudio Franzoni
      Pages: 80 - 85
      Abstract: Alberto III Pio (1475-1531), prince of Carpi and leading man of politics and culture at the beginning of the sixteenth century, entrusted Baldassarre Peruzzi with the project for a new cathedral in the Emilian town. The previous building (the “Sagra”) was not demolished but shortened and completed with a new façade designed by Peruzzi. The new façade contained three new inscriptions, two of which quoted medieval inscriptions from the “Sagra” itself, and one taken from the old Romanesque portals which was reused and placed in the center of the new façade. The intention of the prince was to combine Peruzzi’s new and modern architectural style with the existing medieval forms, themselves visible proof of the Catholic faith of past centuries: the Christian tradition that a few years later Alberto will try to defend in the controversy against Erasmus of Rotterdam.
      PubDate: 2022-11-26
      DOI: 10.36253/opus-14073
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • “Faux conseils et mauvaises testes m’ont fait bastir ces fenestres”:
           les façades parlantes de la Renaissance à Toulouse

    • Authors: Colin Debuiche
      Pages: 86 - 95
      Abstract: Among the artistic centres of the kingdom of France during the Renaissance, Toulouse, the capital of the province of Languedoc, was very attractive and internationally renowned, thanks to its geographical position, its political institutions (its parliament) and its economic dynamism. The rise to power of ambitious Nobles of the Robe and members of the bourgeoisie took place alongside a very active humanist milieu, stimulated by a university where Roman law was taught. Although the city was set apart from its provincial rivals by its archaeological poverty, the strive towards classicism was strong and early. From the end of the fifteenth century, epigraphy, along with numismatics and architectural observation, was used to retrace and celebrate a glorified ancient past. At the same time, a large number of privately owned buildings testified to the city’s strong interest in epigraphy within an artistic context, marked by the introduction of the ‘à l’antique’ repertoire and by strong social competition. From the noble motto to the humanist emblem, this article proposes to analyse several uses of ‘speaking’ architecture in order to highlight the different logics of distinction and demonstration that marked architectural commissions during the Renaissance.
      PubDate: 2022-11-26
      DOI: 10.36253/opus-14074
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • Epigrafi, armi, trofei. Il palazzo del cardinale Bonifacio Bevilacqua a
           Ferrara (1601)

    • Authors: Francesca Mattei
      Pages: 96 - 107
      Abstract: The essay focuses on the ‘talking’ façade of Palazzo Bevilacqua in Ferrara, lavishly decorated by trophies, panoplies, and eight mottos in Latin. The text is divided into three parts. The first is dedicated to the analysis of the palace, with particular attention to the iconographic programme sculpted on the façade, refashioned by the cardinal Bonifacio Bevilacqua in 1601. The second focuses on the interpretation of the epigraphs in relation to the antiquarian culture of the city. The third proposes the reconstruction of the cultural biography of the patron of the building. Through the analysis of published and unpublished documents and sources, the essay proposes the first in-depth investigation of Palazzo Bevilacqua, in order to place it in the artistic and cultural context of Ferrara, where the new political establishment – a few years after the Devolution to the Papal State (1598) – coexisted with the cultural legacy forged by the duke Alfonso II d’Este (1559-1597) and his entourage of antiquarians Enea Vico, Agostino Mosti and Pirro Ligorio.
      PubDate: 2022-11-26
      DOI: 10.36253/opus-14075
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • Parole e forme della devozione: Cristina di Francia, duchessa di Savoia, e
           il “regio sacello” di San Salvario a Torino

    • Authors: Maria Beltramini
      Pages: 108 - 117
      Abstract: The essay discusses the early history of the San Salvario chapel in Turin, commissioned by Christine of France – Duchess of Savoy and widow of Victor Amadeus I – as a votive offering for obtaining the right to govern the State until the full age of her heir. Guided by the inscription on the façade, the essay reconstructs the primitive design of the church (later heavily transformed), clarifies its reasons, meanings and functions, questions the critical interpretations to date and proposes a new stylistic assessment.
      PubDate: 2022-11-26
      DOI: 10.36253/opus-14078
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • Classical Epigraphy in an Irish Topography

    • Authors: Clare Lapraik Guest
      Pages: 118 - 131
      Abstract: This essay recalls the cultural breadth and historical transformations of architectural inscription, from sententious epigraphy to signage. It then focuses on a case from the periphery of Europe, in Ireland, where classicising interventions were conditioned by the encounter with Gaelic civilization. In the late eighteenth century, Richard Robinson, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, remodelled the cathedral city of Armagh through the erection of a sequence of axially-related monuments and buildings which were also linked epigraphically. The essay explores how the inscriptions worked together to articulate the ambitions of Robinson’s project and the meanings generated by the overlay of a classicising urbanistic intervention on an ancient Irish site with its own embedded topographical and literary relationships. Robinson’s architectural inscriptions are not only in play with one another, but with earlier levels and kinds of monumental writing, pertaining to the Insular church and the preChristian mythological landscape. The architectural epigraphy is thus viewed as one manifestation amongst multiple strata of monumental and place-specific texts used to construct the pre-eminence of an ecclesiastical city.
      PubDate: 2022-11-26
      DOI: 10.36253/opus-14077
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
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