- 'Faciendo sette et sedicion': Architecture and Conflict in Sixteenth-Century Verona
- Third EAHN International Meeting
- Book/source title
- Investigating and Writing Architectural History: Subjects, Methodologies and Frontiers: Papers from the Third EAHN International Meeting
- Pages (from-to)
- Torino: Politecnico di Torino
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School of Historical Studies (ASH)
In the aftermath of the War of the League of Cambrai (1508-17), the cityscape of Verona underwent a remarkable change. The war years had taken a heavy toll on the city, killing thousands of inhabitants and damaging large parts of the medieval structures, which made extensive restoration activities necessary and at the same time created opportunities to experiment with architecture. In the postwar period the Veronese elite were eager to adopt the latest fashions from papal Rome, hiring Michele Sanmicheli (1487/8-1559), who was trained in the environment of Bramante and the Da Sangallo family, as their architect of choice. Historians have ascribed to Sanmicheli a fundamental role in the flourishing of the arts in Verona, but remain reticent about the reasons of his sudden success from the late 1520s onwards. In this paper his buildings will be addressed from the point of view of his patrons by linking his private commissions in Verona to the power vacuum that ensued from the war, which resulted in repeated confrontations between two rivaling clans. Why did these power struggles prompt Sanmicheli’s patrons to build? And how did these buildings fit into their strategies to take control of the Veronese institutions? Also, why did they prefer Sanmicheli for their projects?
Two case-studies, the city residences of the Bevilacqua and Lavezzola families, will serve as illustrations of the relationship between architecture and power, and show how closely
connected architecture and conflict were in sixteenth-century Verona.
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