Italy Artists from Middle Ages to the 19th Century Part 3

Italy Artists from Middle Ages to the 19th Century Part 3

According to ejiaxing, entire generations of Italian artists hosted Poland and Russia. Lombard architects of the Solari family in the second half of the 15th century built the fortifications of the Kremlin and the palaces of the tsars in Moscow, and the Bolognese Aristotle Fieravanti raised the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Kremlin, where motifs of Lombard-Romanesque architecture are united with elements characteristic of Russian art. The sixteenth century saw the rise in Poland and particularly in Krakow a whole series of works of art due to Italian architects and sculptors. Prominent among these are the Tuscans Francesco della Lora, Bartolomeo Berecci and Giovanni Cini, the latter authors of tombs of kings, queens and princes in the purest style of our Renaissance. To the sculptures of the Sigismondi chapel.

And even more Italian, overall and in detail, is the municipal building of Poznań, the work of the Lugano architect GB Quadro. Contemporary is the cathedral of the Archangel Michael, in Moscow, by the Milanese architect Aloisio Novi who contributed to the affirmation, in that country, of the art and spirit of the Renaissance both in the architectural forms and in the decorative details. In the seventeenth century the activity of our artists took place above all in Warsaw: the Ticino architect Costante Tencalla and the Bolognese sculptor Clemente Molli executed the monument of Sigismund III; and the Venetian architect Giuseppe Bellotti built the Church of S. Croce and the Royal Villa of Wilanów, decorated by all Italian painters and sculptors.

From the same period are the ancient Krasiński and Radziwill palaces; in Krakow GM Bernardone built the most beautiful Baroque church in Poland, that of the Jesuits; and the Venetian Tommaso Dolabella had great influence on painting. In the following century almost all the most grandiose and important buildings in the Polish capital were built by Italians and were decorated by them: we cite as main examples the City Palace, by Domenico Merlini from Brescia; the new royal palace, built in collaboration by Merlini himself and Chiaveri, and decorated with paintings by the Roman Marcello Bacciarelli, considered the founder of Polish painting, and with statues and reliefs by T. Richi and G. Monaldi. The famous royal villa of Łazienki, a masterpiece by Merlini, was also built and embellished by the same artists of the royal palace; to these must be added Canaletto, who after his stay in Dresden went to Poland and painted another series of highly admired views there. No less fruitful was the nineteenth century: ancient buildings that the Italians had built and decorated, were modernized by other Italians; and other new ones arose in the new classical style. Among these, most of it is due to three of our architects: Enrico and Leandro Marconi, authors in Warsaw and in the province of numerous churches (S. Carlo Borromeo and that of All Saints, in Warsaw) and palaces; and Antonio Corazzi, from Livorno, to whom we owe the building of the Bank of Poland, Staszyc Palace and the Opera House, one of the most important in Northern Europe.

All the other cities of Poland and especially Poznań, Lviv, Vilna preserve a large number of churches, palaces, and paintings by Italians from the century. XVI to XIX.

The work of Italian artists in Russia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries reached an even greater height. When, in 1703, Tsar Peter the Great conceived the foundation of a new capital of his empire, the new city – Petersburg – was born on the building plan drawn up by the Ticino architect Domenico Trezzini, who built the fortification works, the cathedral of the SS Peter and Paul, the university and other buildings. The Venetian architect and sculptor Bartolomeo Rastrelli built in Petersburg the residences of the tsars, such as the Winter Palace, which was the first truly monumental one to rise in the Russian Empire; numerous princely palaces and, in the outskirts of the city, the two imperial villas of TsarskoyeSelo and Peterhof, immense buildings, in which the architectural lines and the internal decorations of stucco and carvings, the stairs and the gardens, the waterworks and the pavilions, the nymphaeums and the statues, everything was conceived by a single genius mind. The very fertile Venetian artist is also the author of the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Kiev, in which the Russian motifs are animated by the Italian Baroque. In the century XIX other Italians continued the work of Rastrelli: and above all Giacomo Quarenghi from Bergamo who built the lateral bodies in the best neoclassical style in the palace of Tsarskoye-Selo and the great palace of Alexander, with a colonnade worthy of the magnificence of ancient Rome; and in Petersburg the Stock Exchange Palace, the Imperial Bank, the Cathedral and the Convent of Smol′nyj, and the Palace ofErmitage  with a theater inspired by the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza.

Contemporary to Quarenghi were the Adamini brothers from Ticino, authors of the Catholic church of Tsarskoye-Selo, and of many other public and private buildings; Carlo Rossi, author of the buildings of the Senate and the General Staff; Luigi Rusca, author of the Teatro Massimo, the Tiflis mosque in Georgia and the Simferopol cathedral in Crimea. Domenico Gilardi from Ticino and other Italians were entrusted with the reconstruction of Moscow, together with Russian architects, after the fire of 1812.

Also in other parts of Europe, and in some countries of Asia and America, there remain works by Italian artists from the sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth century. In Constantinople in the last century Gaspare Fossati built the university building near the church of S. Sofia which he himself had totally restored and partly rebuilt; in India the famous Tāj Mahal of Agra (v.), a masterpiece of Muslim art, is attributed by some to the Venetian architect-goldsmith Girolamo Veroneo (17th century); in Santiago del Chile the cathedral and the Government Palace were built at the end of the 18th century by the Roman G. Toesca. Spreaders of Italian art in the most distant countries were our missionaries: and above all we must remember Father Castiglione who executed notable works of painting and gardening for the imperial house of China.

Italy Artists from Middle Ages to the 19th Century 3

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