Architetture all'ombra del vulcano: il comprensorio etneo in età moderna. Architecture in the Shadow of the Volcano: the Etna Region in the Early Modern Period

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Abstract

Among the many manifestations of the relationship between architecture and nature, a particularly significant case study is that of volcanic territories, both in terms of their implications for aesthetic research and visual considerations, and for the construction and material composition of the buildings realized out in these contexts. The fascination aroused by volcanic eruptions throughout the centuries certainly contributed to the persistence of myths and the development of a collective imaginary, resulting in the construction of local identities that are deep-rooted in the strong character of the territory itself, with significant effects in the architectural sphere as well. On the other hand, the availability of a wide range of volcanic materials (basalt, different kinds and colors of lava, pumice and sands) offered specific opportunities for architecture and construction in general.The aim of this article is to analyze architectural works built in the area of Etna during the early modern period by weaving together data drawn from archival and iconographical sources and the direct observation of select architectural case studies. The focus is on conditioning and opportunities coming from their setting "in the shadow of the volcano”. Attention is paid above all to the great symbolic “investments” (cathedrals, mother churches, government and aristocratic palaces), that is, the most demanding buildings in size and with the highest expectations of resistance and durability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-74
Number of pages8
JournalAGATHÓN
Volume2/2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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