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Book Cover
Author Hersey, George L., author.

Title Architecture, poetry, and number in the royal palace at Caserta / George L. Hersey
Published Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, 1983


Description 1 online resource (318 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates) : illustrations (some color)
Contents Introduction : from Caserta to the Pentagon -- The poetic myths of Naples -- Architectural order -- Royal architects -- The river-road -- Palace geometry -- Public poetry -- The family romance -- Epilogue : Neptune's victory
Summary The great palace of Caserta, near Naples, probably the largest building erected in Europe in the eighteenth century, became an archetypal expression of absolute monarchy. It was begun in 1752 for Carlo di Borbone, King of the Two Sicilies, who worked closely with its chief architect, Luigi Vanvitelli. Although Vanvitelli was one of the most notable architects of his century, as Caserta was one of its major buildings, this study by a leading scholar of Baroque and Neapolitan architecture is the first book in English on the architect and his masterpiece. The book offers a new view of the palatial and megapalatial in architecture. Although the monarch for whom it was built never spent a night under its roof, Caserta was designed to provide the royal family and the court with a grand residence and more. It was also intended to house the offices of the government bureaucracy, barracks, a national library, a university, and a national theater - not only to symbolize but to contain the organs of a large modern state. Caserta influenced much that came after: plans by Boulle for a new Versailles to return pride of size to France, buildings in both Imperial and Soviet Russia, palaces of the later British Empire, even the Pentagon. As Hersey notes, "if Carlo di Borbone could return from the grave and rule the United States, he would move the seat of executive power from the White House to the Pentagon." The book also provides intriguing insights into the relationships between poetry - painted and sculptured allegories - and number - architectural planning that has become a geometrical game. It sketches the intellectual background of Carlo's conception, emphasizing the king's mythical forebears and his love of mathematical order. It shows that the Neapolitan poet and philosopher, Giambattista Vico, influenced the king to incorporate such mythic figures as Hercules and Aeneas into his genealogy and Vanvitelli to introduce their likenesses into Caserta's art, which is in turn integrated with the geometry of the palace's gardens and the numerical sequences of its rooms
Analysis ARCHITECTURE/Architectural History/General
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 289-301) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Vanvitelli, Luigi, 1700-1773.
Charles III, King of Spain, 1716-1788.
Charles III, King of Spain, 1716-1788
Vanvitelli, Luigi, 1700-1773
Karl III. Spanien, König 1716-1788
Karl VI. Heiliges Römisches Reich, Kaiser 1685-1740
Gioffredo, Mario 1718-1785
Vanvitelli, Luigi 1700-1773
Karl (Römisch-Deutsches Reich, Kaiser, VI.)
Reggia di Caserta.
Reggia di Caserta
Architecture, Baroque -- Italy -- Caserta
Symbolism in architecture -- Italy -- Caserta
Architectural design -- Italy -- Caserta -- History -- 18th century
Palaces -- Italy -- Caserta -- Design and construction
Architectural design
Architecture, Baroque
Palaces -- Design and construction
Symbolism in architecture
Architecture baroque -- Italie -- Caserte (Italie)
architecture italienne -- Naples (Italie) -- Baroque.
palais -- Vanvitelli, Luigi -- Reggia di Caserta (Caserte) -- Caserte (Italie)
Caserta (Italy) -- Buildings, structures, etc
Italy -- Caserta
Schloss Caserta Caserta
Caserte (Italie) -- Palazzo reale.
Caserta -- Schloss.
Genre/Form History
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0262368110