The neoclassical architecture in Tuscany was established between the second half of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century within a historical-political framework substantially aligned with that which will affect the rest of the Italian peninsula, but developing original features.
In fact, unlike other regions, where architects from outside were often recruited during the years of renovation, the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence directly formed the protagonists of a particularly lively season, especially in the context of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
In the first half of the eighteenth century the Toscana was largely administered by the Grand Duchy controlled by the Habsburg-Lorraine, and had its capital Florence. Then there were a series of minor entities: the Republic of Lucca, which included the homonymous city and the surrounding territories; the Principality of Piombino, which stretched over the Val di Cornia and part of the Island of Elba; the State of the Presidi which essentially included the Orbetello area and was politically dependent on the Kingdom of Naples; finally, theDuchy of Massa and Carrara, which governed a small area overlooking the sea in the northern part of the region.
With the French occupation, the Kingdom of Etruria took over from the Grand Duchy (1801 – 1807), of which the State of the Presidium also became part; Piombino and Lucca joined in a single principality, to which the Duchy of Massa and Carrara was assigned in 1806. In December 1807 the Kingdom of Etruria was suppressed and the Grand Duchy, in fact still controlled by the French Empire, was divided into three territorial departments called “del Mediterraneo “, “dell ‘ Ombrone ” and “dell’ Arno “, with capitals respectively Livorno, Siena and Florence.
At the Congress of Vienna, with the Restoration, the grand duchy obtained some alterations of the territory, with the annexation of the Principality of Piombino, the State of the Presidi and some minor feuds; in 1847 the Duchy of Lucca was also included. In 1860 the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was annexed in the Kingdom of Sardinia, then becoming part of the Kingdom of Italy.
The events affecting Tuscany can be substantially distinguished in a pre-revolutionary or eighteenth-century phase, in a revolutionary phase coinciding with the French occupation, and in a third phase, that of the Restoration, which preceded the annexation to the Kingdom of Italy.
From an architectural point of view, the first phase was essentially a reaction to the Rococo; the cultural climate established by the Habsburgs Lorena favored the transposition of the Enlightenment into architecture, affirming principles that are closer to functionalism, with a new aesthetic ideal based on the use of simple geometric shapes and the rejection of excessive ostentation.
In the second phase the formal apparatus was influenced by the Napoleonic influence, with a greater derivation from classical Greek and Roman art.
During the third period the artistic manifestations were filtered through the local tradition, especially the Renaissance, thus moving away from the historical assumptions that had seen them rise; the Neoclassicism, as a symbol of emancipation of thought and cultural freedom, instead stated as a stylistic code adapted to the return of the ‘ Ancien Régime, in what critics called “Neoclassicism Romance “.
With the annexation of the Tuscan territories to the Kingdom of Italy, in the second half of the nineteenth century, Neoclassicism opened up to a variety of researches that led to the disintegration of the concept of style, thus opening the way to eclecticism.
The period of the Regency (1739-1765)
In January 1739 the Grand Duke Francesco III entered Florence through the triumphal arch built by Jean-Nicolas Jadot outside the Porta San Gallo, formally taking possession of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany after the death of Gian Gastone de ‘Medici and the subsequent regency of Marc de Beauvau, prince of Craon. Contrary to the tradition of the time, the arch was not an ephemeral work in wood, canvas and plaster, but it constituted a structure in a stable plan, which recalled a theme of Roman artof particular symbolic meaning, inaugurating the spread of this type in the neoclassical era. The arch designed by Jadot, placed before the ancient medieval walls of Florence, foreshadowed the renewal that, shortly thereafter, would have affected the architecture of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
The age of the regency constituted in fact the preparation and the platform of the subsequent reforming action that the Grand Duke Peter Leopold promoted after the death of his father Francesco, which took place in 1765. Despite several limitations and not without difficulties, the first period of the Lorraine Grand Dukedom was characterized by the realization of a global plan aimed at the knowledge of the territory and the best exploitation of natural resources: in this context, for example, the motuproprio for the protection of the botanical society (1739), the foundation of the Georgofili Academy (1753), the task entrusted to Odoardo Warrento draw the maps of the cities of the grand duchy, the drafting of a general topographic map of Tuscany commissioned to Leonardo Ximenes, the drafting of a report on the natural history of the countries of the grand duchy published by Giovanni Targioni Tozzetti between 1751 and 1754, the restructuring of the San Giuliano thermal baths and works for the imperial canal of the Bientina lake. The Regency also favored the development of cultural services, both in the capital and in the minor centers of the grand duchy, with the opening and renewal of a series of libraries and theater spaces, from Pontremoli to Siena, from Prato to Pisa, passing through the reconstruction in masonry of the Sala del Teatro della Pergola in Florence.
In general, this period was characterized by an architecture without ostentation. The installation of the new baths of San Giuliano, whose project was developed between 1744 and 1762 by the architects Giuseppe Ruggieri, Ignazio Pellegrini and Gaspare Paoletti, is a significant example of this architecture: among the simple factories of the bathrooms, imagine how the fulcrum of development of a new inhabited settlement, stood out exclusively the central building, which was distinguished by the reason for the window-balcony and the overlying clock. The project for the new suburb of Livorno is also worth mentioningof San Jacopo: a planimetric plan with regular meshes, somehow similar to the design of the contemporary Borgo Teresiano of Trieste, with dwellings characterized by sober façades and by the search for maximum simplicity in distribution in plan. The same essentiality is found in the project for a market square to be built near the church of San Pierino, in Pisa (1749), in the façade of the church of San Giuseppe (1759) and in the Marucelliana library in Florence.
In other words, the Lorraine season had inaugurated a more measured design attitude than the one held during the grand duchy of Gian Gastone, with some apparent exceptions, such as the church of Santa Felicita (completed in 1739), the bell tower of San Lorenzo with its flattened bulb terminal (1740) and the continuation of the sumptuous Chapel of the Princes; These works constitute the last reflection of the Medici period, as they had been begun before the Regency or commissioned directly by Princess Anna Maria Luisa de ‘Medici.
In this context, the monumental projects of Ignazio Pellegrini for the royal chapel and the theater of Palazzo Pitti, or for the new entrance to the Uffizi gallery, were considered unrealistic and could not be implemented; other architects, like the brothers Giuseppe and Ferdinando Ruggieri, proved to be willing to moderate their ambitions and found greater fortune in the client, even if they never adhered to a neoclassical language; for example, the façade of San Filippo Neri and the ribs on the inner walls of Santa Felicita, designed by Ferdinando, appear to be very far from the invention, authentically neoclassical, constituted by the proposal of Carl Marcus Tuscherfor the façade of San Lorenzo (1739).
From Peter Leopold to Ferdinand III (1765-1799)
In 1765 Pietro Leopoldo became Grand Duke of Tuscany, ending the age of the Regency. An enlightened housekeeper, she was not a true patron of the arts and constantly showed an attitude of prudence towards the costs of architectural enterprises. The careful administration and the clear objective of containing the expenses of the State, however, did not limit the creation of public utility works, which perfectly embodied the season of ideological change desired by Pietro Leopoldo, such as the reorganization of the hospitals of the grand duchy, the new lazzaretto of Livorno, the re-establishment of the thermal baths of Montecatini, the construction of the new cemeteries of Livornoand Florence, the land reclamation of the Maremma, Val di Chiana and Val di Nievole, the gratifications distributed for the foundation of farmhouses in the Pisan and Sienese provinces, until the construction of new roads and the renovation of existing ones.
In 1784 he founded the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, entrusting its direction to Gaspare Paoletti, who, even if he is a continuer of the Renaissance tradition, can be considered the initiator of the neoclassical taste in Tuscany. Paoletti, who boasted an excellent preparation both on the architectural and on the technical level, transmitted to his pupils this dual attitude, precisely in the years when the split between the Académie des beaux-arts and the École polytechnique occurred in Paris..
An expert in hydraulics, he was mainly responsible for the re-establishment of the Montecatini baths, with the construction of the Bagno Regio, the Terme Leopoldine and the Tettuccio. The project, which remained on paper, for a circular plant, with an internal overgrowth bordered by an annular colonnade, which, if realized, would have represented the most interesting stylistic result of the Tuscan architecture of the period.
Between 1766 and 1783 Paoletti worked at the villa of Poggio Imperiale, in Florence, expanding the previous Medici building with the formation of two side courtyards characterized by a measured neoclassical language; he built the back façade, the ballroom on the main floor and built the stables.
In the same years he was engaged in the construction of Palazzo Pitti. If for the construction of the new front part of the façade, Via Guicciardini side, it limited itself to re-propose the loggia that Giuseppe Ruggieri had used in the rondeaux placed towards the via Romana, inside the building, with the contribution of the brothers Grato and Giocondo Albertolli, the refined “Hall of stucco” (1776 -1 783), which, for the use of the theme of the Corinthianand the stucco decoration, can be related to other neoclassical solutions of the period, such as the aforementioned ballroom of the villa of Poggio Imperiale and the hall created by Zanobi del Rosso to house the Niobe sculptural group inside the gallery of the Uffizi. Starting from 1781, also for the Pitti palace complex, the construction of the Meridiana building began, to then be replaced by the student Pasquale Poccianti.
While in the rest of Tuscany there is the construction of a few architectures of formal and stylistic importance (remember the new wing of the conservatory of San Niccolò, in which Giuseppe Valentini diluted Neoclassicism with obvious references to Mannerism), an interesting opportunity to compare architects came when the Grand Duke requested the project for the new factory of the Cascine farm in Florence. In 1785 the expert Paoletti and the young Giuseppe Manettipresented two different proposals: the first, trying to combine elegance with the economy, prepared the design of a building used as a stallion and barn located at the center of two farmhouses; the second, demonstrating greater inventiveness and a clear link with the architectural aesthetics of the Enlightenment, instead created a large arcade hemicycle, with a taller hinged building between the two semicircular arms, all bordered by two pronai flanked by two conical iceboxes. The modest design of Paoletti, judged “miserable in the idea”, was discarded, while that of Manetti, considered too expensive, was approved in 1787only after having been widely resized and simplified. Despite the limitations of the client, Manetti succeeded in conferring architectural dignity to the design of the central building through the insertion of pierced pillars, the terracotta facing of the base portico and the motifs of the ornamental rounds.
In 1790 Pietro Leopoldo left the government of Tuscany to go and take over the imperial investiture and his son Ferdinando became Grand Duke in a period marked by strong unrest. The only important construction site that he managed to start was the one for the Livorno aqueduct, whose works, communicated in 1793 by Giuseppe Salvetti, underwent several interruptions and proceeded through many difficulties. Also the arrangement of the Cascine Park, designed by Giuseppe Manetti, with the construction of the pyramid- shaped icehouseand of the round aedicules of the “Pavoniere”, are to be considered more like the completion of the works begun in the Leopoldina period, than the real initiatives of the Grand Duke Ferdinando.
In domestic politics, the new Grand Duke did not reject the paternal reforms that had brought Tuscany to the vanguard in Europe, preceding in some fields even the French Revolution then under way, but tried to limit some excesses, especially in the religious field, with the restoration of external worship practices. With the return to the devotion of the saints, the architect Giuseppe Del Rosso, before devoting himself to the construction of the neo-Gothic chapel of the Madonna del Conforto in the cathedral of Arezzo, was commissioned by the Delle Pozze family to design the oratory of Sant’Onofrio, in Dicomano (1792); despite its modest size, the oratory is a true manifesto of Enlightenment architecture for Tuscany and stands out for its rigorous volumes, preceded by an ionic tetrastyle pronaos and tympanum on the façade.
The Napoleonic period (1799-1814)
In 1799 Ferdinand III was forced into exile in Vienna because of the precipitate of the political situation of the peninsula and the rise to power of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Bonapartist season conditioned the events of the region for about fifteen years. Tuscany, including the Principality of Lucca, experienced a radical transformation of the institutions; the few years of the empire were sufficient to draft and start ambitious projects, which were completed after the restoration of the Lorraine and, in some cases, with the unification of Italy.
Even the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence was reformed and flanked by a conservatory of arts and crafts. In 1813, together with the most famous institutes of the empire, it was invited to present a project for a monument to be erected on the Mont-Cenis; among the works admitted to the competition, we remember the Colosso dell’Aquila by Giuseppe Manetti and the triumphal arch designed by the group formed by Giuseppe Del Rosso, Giuseppe Cacialli and Luigi de Cambray Digny.
Among these, Giuseppe Cacialli was the most successful architect in the years of Napoleonic domination. Overcoming the rival Pasquale Poccianti, who in 1809 was sent to Livorno as an architect of the community while boasting a greater seniority of service, Cacialli obtained the appointment of architect of the royal palaces and possessions, an institution that was responsible for the maintenance of assets passed from Lorraine to Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi. At the beginning of his career he found himself collaborating with the same Poccianti in the expansion of the Medici villa of Poggio Imperiale started by Gaspare Paoletti, but the respective contributions are still distinguishable: so, while the central part of the façade is due to the Poccianti, the merit of most of the work goes to the Cacialli. Author of academics and elegant decorative compositions, Cacialli also distinguished himself for the renovation of Palazzo Pitti (Iliad Hall, Hall of Hercules and Maria Theresa’s Bath) and for the Napoleonic quarter of Palazzo Medici Riccardi.
If Giuseppe Del Rosso, appointed as municipal architect in Florence, proved to be a modest planner and set aside from the restoration of the ancient monuments to the design of the Pia Casa di Lavoro of Montedomini, in the ” Ombrone Department ” the few important neoclassical architectures ‘epoch are due to the figure of Agostino Fantastici: we remember, in Siena, the project for the transformation of the convent of St. Augustine in high school (which will then be realized only the grandiose external portico) and, in Montalcino, the cathedral of Most Holy Savior, who was designed starting from1813 and carried out only during the Restoration.
In Pistoia, where the forms of the Enlightenment classicism had been introduced by the Palazzo Vescovile Nuovo erected by Stefano Ciardi starting from 1787, the contribution of a pupil of the Paoletti, Cosimo Rossi Melocchi, should be noted; his Pantheon of illustrious men, designed in 1811 and concluded only in 1827 in much reduced forms compared to the original program, shows an adhesion to the themes of revolutionary architecture in the rough prospect interrupted by a portico with massive columns of the Doric order.
A very lively cultural climate is recorded in Lucca; the city, subject to France but not part of the former territories of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, became almost a model and a term of comparison with the town planning of the Napoleonic age of the region. In 1805 Elisa Baciocchi obtained control of the Principality of Lucca and Piombino, to which were subsequently annexed territories of Massa and Carrara. During the management of the future Grand Duchess of Tuscany, the cities of Carrara, Viareggio and Bagni di Lucca were expanded, while under the guidance of the architect Giovanni Lazzarini, often assisted by Théodhore Bienaimé, a series of important construction sites were started: the construction of piazza Napoleone, obtained by gutting a substantial portion of the historical center of Lucca; the opening of a door in the form of a triumphal arch and a connecting road dedicated to Elisa; the neoclassical renovation of the Marlia summer residence; the extension of the cemetery outside the San Donato gate; the transformation of some religious complexes to other uses; the project of the Giglio theater, whose work began in 1817, however.
Together with Lazzarini, a series of other architects gravitated around Lucca. In 1812 also Pasquale Poccianti, who in those same years was engaged in completing the aqueduct of Livorno, was called to the court of Elisa Baciocchi, but his contribution was limited to some projects of monumental urban structures of neoclassical style, which, however, did not find implementation.
From the Restoration to Unification (1814-1860)
With the Restoration, that generation of talented architects formed in the Florence Academy of Fine Arts under Gaspare Paoletti became the protagonist of a particularly dense and interesting season for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
On his return to Tuscany in September 1814, Grand Duke Ferdinando III developed an important program for the construction of public utility works: for example, new roads were built in the territory of Arezzo, the new aqueduct became operational in Livorno (1816), the viability in Maremma was strengthened, while on the Bologna road the vast and functional Filigare Customs was built according to a design by Luigi de Cambray Digny (1818).
In several cities old blocks were demolished to open new squares. In Florence, in 1824 Gaetano Baccani prepared the plan for the enlargement of the Piazza del Duomo, with the creation of a vague portico of neoclassical taste on the south side; In the central loggia of the new Canonici palace, on the southern side of the cathedral, the statues of Arnolfo di Cambio and Filippo Brunelleschi were inserted to celebrate the values and protagonists of the indigenous culture. Alongside this project and the initiatives for the continuation of Via Cavour, there is also the one for the expansion of thevia dei Calzaiuoli, which was approved, with various modifications, only in 1842. With the same criterion, in Pisa, the old monastery of San Lorenzo was demolished to create the Piazza Santa Caterina (completed in 1827 by Alessandro Gherardesca), the ancient monumental Camposanto was reorganized and the system of a stretch of Lungarno was proceeded. In Arezzo, with the work of the road to Ancona, it was thought to regularize and link the two levels of Piazza Sant’Agostino and to place a statue, then actually erected in the Piazza Grande.
Still in Florence, in 1817 the Goldoni theater was inaugurated and a few years later Giuseppe Martelli was involved in the transformation of a former convent of the Santissima Concezione into an educated woman, in which it is important to point out the refined spiral staircase in serene stone surmounted by a caryatid in lead, which the sculptor Luigi Pampaloni placed at the top of the central column to give stability to the structure. In addition, on a project by Luigi de Cambray Digny, the Royal Lodge was built (1821), while Pasquale Poccianti, promoted first architect of the royal buildings by Ferdinand III and destined to establish himself as the main architect of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, he became interested in the construction of the new staircase and the vestibule of Palazzo Pitti, the corridor connecting the Specola rooms. completed the building of the Meridian with the design of the southern facade and built the Elci room for the expansion of the Laurentian Medicean Library. If in the neoclassical code of the three-aisle vestibule and of the staircase characterized by overlapping columns of the Poccianti, Renaissance memories merge, for the addition of the libraryMichelangelo worked on the insertion of a refined neoclassical roundabout, without however seeking any connection with the pre-existing organism.
Private initiatives include the Palazzo Ghibellina (1821), commissioned by the prince Gaetano Borghese to Gaetano Baccani, where the imposing rustic façade surmounted by a thin Ionian colonnade stands out. The Pantheon, built inside the villa Puccini of Scornio di Pistoia, dates back roughly to the same period, probably the work in which the language of the eclectic Alessandro Gherardesca reached the purest neoclassical quality for the lightness and harmony of the whole [ 35] and the grandiose Villa San Donato in Novoli, designed by Giovan Battista Silvestri for the Demidoff family,
Also interesting is the figure of Rodolfo Castinelli, who, after having drawn the dance hall of the Goldoni theater with neoclassical taste, built the temple of Minerva Medica di Montefoscoli in memory of the father of Andrea Vaccà Berlinghieri, easily drawing on Roman archaeological memories and Etruscans.
This revival vivacity, which looked to distant iconographic repertoires of local tradition, also emerges in the twin monuments of Volterra designed by Giuseppe Del Rosso in 1830 (with dolphins and hermis of Janus) and in the wooden chair, in Empire style and with neo-pubic taste inserts Piranesiano, which Agostino Fantastici conceived for the University of Siena.
In any case, it should be noted that most of these architects did not adhere exclusively to the neoclassical code, but, at the same time, devoted themselves to the design of neo – Gothic works, with a revaluation, typical of Romanticism, of the anticlassic repertoire: on the one hand neoclassical architecture corresponded to the ambitions of the restored monarchies, while on the other neomedievalism let presage an evolution in the concept of redemption of national autonomy.
Meanwhile, even in Lucca and its territories, united in a state independent of the rest of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany until the annexation of 1847, we witness the realization of a series of public works. In 1818 Lorenzo Nottolini, who had been a pupil of Giovanni Lazzarini, assumed the nomination as a royal architect; he was also active as a restorer, urban planner and hydraulic engineer, also receiving private assignments. His contributions include: the aqueduct (1822 – 1833), the Orsetti chapel in the suburban cemetery (1824), the Angel monastery, the Borbone villa in Viareggioand the Chain Bridge at Bagni di Lucca.
However, it was Livorno, the free port of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany animated by intense cultural exchanges with foreign countries, the city where the Restoration Neoclassicism achieved the best results; statement that coincided with the rise to government of Leopold II (1824- 1859) and the establishment of local “School of Architecture, Surveying and Ornate” (1825).
The ambitions of a growing city were reflected in the design and construction of important works of public utility. For the new district of Casone, to the south of the city, Cambray Digny hypothesized the opening of a door on the southern bastion of the Medicean wall, looking out, on the outside, a regular road system; according to the indications contained in the plan, at the edge of the new settlement was built the church of Saints Peter and Paul (1829), in which the neoclassical themes of the façade are diluted in the portico with round arches derived from the Tuscan architecture of the fifteenth century. Shortly thereafter, the transformations extended to the rectification of the surrounding ditch and the demolition of the ancient Medicean walls, with the enlargement of the area of the free port. On the motion of expansion of the city, exemplified by the wide square of the Grand Dukes built by Luigi Bettarini to connect the city center to the suburbs Lorraine, it is still opposed the limit set by the new boundary walls designed by Alessandro Manetti (1835 -1842); the original compositions of the customs passages are however to Carlo Reishammer, who took up some styles of the architecture of Ledoux, combining canopies, stairs, pillars and other ornamental elements in cast iron.
At the same time Poccianti devoted himself to the necessary works for the upgrading of the aqueduct completed a few years earlier; the architect’s attention was mainly focused on the design of some tanks for the accumulation and filtering of water: the Pian di Rota Purgatory (1845 – 1852), characterized by a strongly dilated plant marked by two semicircular exedras at the ends and by a severe Tuscan pronaos on the façade; his masterpiece, the Cisternone (1829-1842), with the portico surmounted by a ” revolutionary ” semi-dome decorated with coffered panels, which translates into reality the daring inventions ofÉtienne-Louis Boullée and Claude-Nicolas Ledoux; the Cisternino di città (completed around 1848), with a basilica plan and with the thin loggia raised above the massive basement. On the whole, it consists of three buildings resulting from the union of elementary geometric volumes, where the French influences are combined with the evident knowledge of Roman thermal bathsand of the Tuscan architectural tradition. Moreover, in the intentions of the architect (then, in fact downsized in the executive phase), the aqueduct work should have been practicable from the city to the springs, in a sort of didactic route through tunnels, arches and inspections made in the forms of neoclassical temples.
Other architects who worked in Livorno, such as Gaetano Gherardi, Giuseppe Puini, Giuseppe Cappellini and Angiolo della Valle, felt the influence of Poccianti. Al Gherardi, professor at the local “School of Architecture, Ornato and Agrimensura”, owe the great church of Soccorso (1836) with Brunelleschi’s references, the scarce church of Sant’Andrea and the adjoining Girolamo Gavi Seminary; at the Puini the church of San Giuseppe (1839), with the splayed lacunari in façade that recalls that of the Cisternone; at Cappellini, iCasini d’Ardenza, original composition built in the forties in the renewal of the waterfront of Livorno, and the Goldoni Theater (1843 -1847), characterized by a glass cover for daytime shows and the only one in the Tuscan theaters to show up with an important formal outer garment conferred by the majestic carriage portico; at Della Valle the church of San Giorgio and the new cemetery of the English (1839). In this context, the vast projects, still on paper, prepared by Cambray Digny and Giuseppe Martelli for the new hospital deserve mention, too (1832) and for the covered market of Livorno (1849); the out-of-scale gigantism instead took place in the Pia Casa di Lavoro, which was initiated by Alessandro Gherardesca in 1845 and subsequently completed by Angiolo della Valle.
From the 1940s onwards, there was also a certain ferment in Florence: the start of works to widen the Via dei Calzaiuoli, the approval of the plan for the new district of Barbano (1842), the rearrangement of the Lungarni, the opening of the Stazione Leopolda and that of Maria Antonia, up to the construction of the heavy building of the Stock Exchange, designed by Michelangelo Maiorfi and Emilio De Fabris along the course of the Arno river. The inauguration of the Tribuna di Galileo, a room located inside the Specola museum (1841), is part of this context); designed by Giuseppe Martelli and characterized by an intense polychromy and an overabundance of ornamental elements, it is the mirror of a neoclassical taste now oriented towards eclecticism, especially when compared to the austere addition of Poccianti for the Laurenziana library, also inaugurated in the same year.
Even in the other cities of the Grand Duchy there is intense building and urban fervor. We remember the church of Santa Maria Assunta di Montecatini (1833) and the propositura of the saints Giusti and Clemente (1842-1845), designed respectively by Luigi De Cambray Digny and Agostino Fantastici by using tetrastiles of Ionic order; the façade of the oratory of San Francesco a Bibbiena (1829), of Nicolò Matas, and the façade of the church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Ponsacco (1832-1836), by Alessandro Gherardesca; the church of San Pier Forelli (1838) in Prato, diTorello Niccolai and Angelo Pacchiani; the Petrarca theater of Arezzo (inaugurated in 1833), by Vittorio Bellini; the Teatro Metastasio di Prato (completed in 1830), again designed by Cambray Digny; the Palazzo del Tribunale, in Pontremoli (1840), by Angiolo Cianferoni; the Animosi theater, realized in Carrara on a project by Giuseppe Pardini (1840); the Napoleonic Museum at the villa of San Martino at the Island of Elba (1851), designed by Matas for Anatolius Demidoff.
With the development of industrial activities, it is worth mentioning the growing use of metallurgical products, which were mainly used in the construction of bridges, such as the suspended one of Poggio a Caiano (1833) by Alessandro Manetti and those of San Ferdinando and San Leopoldo in Florence, by the Séguin brothers. Alongside these works of engineering is the church of San Leopoldo di Follonica, the Reishammer’s work characterized by numerous cast iron elements, such as the pronaos, the rosette of the façade, the apse, the tip of the bell tower and some interior furnishings (1838).), which together with the Porta San Marcoof Livorno, also of the Reishammer, foretells new and evocative scenarios in the field of architecture.
After the unification of Italy
The election of Florence in the capital of the Kingdom of Italy marks the watershed, in Tuscany, between Neoclassicism and the ‘ eclectic array neo-Renaissance.
The task of updating the image of the new capital, with a series of urban and architectural interventions in order to adapt the city to its function, was entrusted to Giuseppe Poggi, who had been a pupil of Pasquale Poccianti. Poggi took care of every detail, from the detailed plans to the architectural scale, giving it an imprint that took place between an adhesion to Neoclassicism and a natural reference to Renaissance models. The most significant part of his entire work is the hilly expansion of the city, with Viale dei Colli and Piazzale Michelangelo, conceived as a belvedere on the city. Here he built a loggia according to neoclassical and neocinquecentesque canons, which was to be part of a museum of Michelangelo.
Between 1885 and 1895 there was also the rehabilitation of the historic center; an operation that goes beyond the Poggi plan and led to the demolition of the area around the old market, with the construction of new blocks, quite anonymous and undifferentiated, in neoclassical and neo-renaissance style. After all, after the unification of Italy, Tuscan architecture and, more generally, the Italian onethey turned towards a line that emphasized what was considered the national style par excellence, namely the Renaissance; a predominantly secular architecture, embodied by the typology of the sixteenth century palace, which was perfectly adapted to the rapid expansion of the cities.
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