All’origine delle consulte: il rapporto tra teoria e prassi nel dibattito sulle cupole nell’Italia della prima età moderna (XVI-XVII secolo)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

In the context of the architectural debate that raged in Italy between the 15th and 16thcenturies, the issue of how to cover groined vaults in church architecture led to the progressivespread of vaults with extrados on a tall drum: these were considered to be thesymbolically and formally most significant, as well as the structurally most challenging featureof the new architecture.The present study focuses on the difficult relationship between the new theory of antiquestylearchitecture and coeval construction experiences. At least up until the publication ofthe treaty by Vincenzo Scamozzi in 1615, the theoretical debate not only almost made nomention of these new structural models and needs, but was actually ridden with culturalbiases toward established construction practices, such as the use of the pointed arch, domecladding and collar beams, often providing misleading and, in some cases, implausiblemodels. At construction sites the debate was much livelier as it was driven by experts whowere able to blend the new formal styles with traditional building practices and experimentalapproaches.Building domes and, more generally, balancing thrust forces continued to be regarded asan experimental art based almost entirely on work in construction yards, the only placeswhere it was possible to advance and consolidate building expertise, through successes andfailures. A key role in such complex and delicate architectural creations was played by theexempla of successful works—which led to a vast circulation of ideas—and by the consultationof those who had gained experience in building endeavours and were often at the centreof dialectic debates on the occasion of collective consultations convened by contractors.Carlo Fontana was the first Italian architect to attempt to fill this blatant divide betweentheory and practice in his ambitious work Il tempio Vaticano e sua Origine (1694), achievingthe goal that he had set out to reach only in part.
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationSaperi a confronto. Consulte e perizie sulle criticità strutturali dell’architettura d’età moderna (XV-XVIII secolo)
Pages7-24
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameFRAMMENTI DI STORIA E ARCHITETTURA

Cite this