Guarini, Juvarra, Antonelli: Signs and symbols for Turin / Exhibition at Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin








The Fondazione Palazzo Bricherasio [Italy]

Guarini, Juvarra, Antonelli: Signs and symbols for Turin
Exhibition > September 14, 2008







Guarini, Juvarra, Antonelli: Signs and symbols for Turin, an exhibition organized with the contribution of the Compagnia di San Paolo and curated by Giuseppe Dardanello and Rosa Tamborrino, tells of the drawing of architecture – practice, study, technical elaboration, planning, all of which involve phases and variations: implementation, worksite instruction, detail, outline, model and illustrated story – as a privileged instrument with which the architect communicates and conveys the architectural project, as seen through the works of those who have left an indelible mark of creativity on Turin.


Filippo Juvarra


Filippo Juvarra
Studio per Casa Juvarra a Torino, 1724 circa.
Torino, Museo Civico d’Arte Antica e Palazzo Madama, Disegni di Juvarra, vol. I ( n. 139).
© All rights reserved



The drawings, preserved in the archives of the Piedmont’s cultural institutions and some Italian and European museum collections, tell about architectures which have turned into places and symbolic signs for the city and its territory. In line with this spirit, the entire itinerary chooses not to reconstruct the course of each project philologically, but rather prefers to focus on the communicative dimension of each individual drawing, its ability to express an idea, a construction, a symbolic representation.

The exhibition opens presenting the city in two different interpretations: the city as represented in urban development plans of the 1600s, and the city as it was built in the 1700s. Both of these dimensions are presented through plans and views displayed next to the drawings to show the street façades which created that image of continuity in the urban scenery, unanimously recognized by travelers visiting Turin. Next, the itinerary proposes a description of the home/studio of the three protagonists of the exhibition: the portraits, the projects for their own homes, the material and operating instruments used in study and in drawing, complete with the visual testimony of the cultural development of each.

The exhibition itinerary follows the development over time of the themes and architectural types which the architects experimented: the royal palace and square, the domes, the public architecture created for the institutions and for the city, the villas and the gardens, decoration and ornamentation, memory and altars. Guarini’s drawings for Palazzo Carignano and those of Juvarra for the façade and grand steps of Palazzo Madama and the atrium of Rivoli Castle illustrate the two architects’ commitment and research in the creation of a “prototype” for a royal palace created for the sovereign of an absolute state. The domes and the vaults presented in the exhibition halls express the extraordinary results reached in Guarini’s planning process, as well as Antonelli’s constructions, as bold as they were experimental, which left their mark on the architectural and urban imagination of the Piedmont region.


Bernardo Bellotto


Bernardo Bellotto
Veduta del Palazzo Reale di Torino dalla parte delle mura, 1745,
Particolare. Torino, Galleria Sabauda.
© All rights reserved

Giovanni Fayneau


Giovanni Fayneau su disegno di Guarino Guarini,
“Facies interna S. Laurentii Taurini”, incisione. In Guarino Guarini, Dissegni d’architettura civile et ecclesiastica, Torino 1686, tav. 6
© All rights reserved

Modello ligneo per la chiesa della Gran Madre


Intagliatore piemontese su progetto di Ferdinando Bonsignore
Modello ligneo per la chiesa della Gran Madre, 1818, legno intagliato.
Torino, Museo Civico d’Arte Antica e Palazzo Madama (n. 1491/L)
© All rights reserved



Material produced for the State and institutional purchasers are exhibited in a fast-moving tour of public architecture: from Juvarra’s projects for the Palace of the Royal Archives and his drawings for the Benedetto Alfieri Theater – of which the model of the Senate Palace can be found in the center of the hall – to Antonelli’s plates for the Parliament, the Theater, and the Hospital of Novara.

The exhibition closes with a section dedicated to the urban fabric of the 19th century: the houses and the streets, in the two dimensions of newly planned city and the inherited, reinterpreted city, are redefined in the light of new possibilities for the urban project, brought up to date by experiences in Paris and characterized by a marked interest in historical styles and the new functionality of living spaces.

The objects on display, joined for the first time in a rich and complex itinerary, reconstruct and at the same time go beyond the biographies of the key players who animated the architectural stage, each in turn, influencing the various cultural contexts.

The exhibition also has the great merit of giving space and emphasis to the ample and exceptional nature of the archival and museum heritage preserved in the Piedmont region, offering the possibility of different interpretations which find in the exhibition itinerary buildings which are emblematic of that architecture as it was built.


One Response to “Guarini, Juvarra, Antonelli: Signs and symbols for Turin / Exhibition at Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin”

  1. […] Guarini, Juvarra, Antonelli: Signs and symbols for Turin / Exhibition at Palazzo Bricherasio, T… […]

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