Speaker: Marco Folin (University of Genoa) Since Bruno Zevi’s classic book on Biagio Rossetti architetto ferrarese (Turin 1960), the figure of Biagio Rossetti – idealised as a nonconformist if not subversive architect and the “first European town-planner”– has entered the pantheon of illustrious Italian Renaissance artists. By reconstructing from the documents Biagio’s life and his activities as private builder and speculator, as well as head of the Ufficio alle fabbriche e munizioni ducali, this seminar aims to propose a thoroughly different interpretation of his role against the background of architectural and urban renewal processes taking place in the city of Ferrara at the end of the 15th Century. The example will provide an opportunity to discuss some loci classici of Renaissance architectural history (the notion of authorship of architectural works, the idea of the “artistic city” or città d’arte, the link between drawings and projects in Renaissance architectural culture), proposing an approach to the history of architecture based not on the analysis of individual artistic personalities, but rather on the study of the complex interactions of a plurality of actors: rulers, patrons, speculators, master builders, etc., driven by their own specific interests, but sometimes interconnected by common models, shared tastes, scattered aspirations, so as to redirect the whole temper of an historical period.
Please note: This seminar will be in Italian
Marco Folin is Associate Professor at the University of Genoa, where he teaches History of Architecture. He has been visiting professor at the Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme (Aix-en-Provence, 2009) and at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Marseille, 2014), Directeur d’études associé de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (Paris, 2016) and Smithsonian Fellow at the Dibner Library (Washington, 2018). Italian urban culture, architectural imagery and the relationship between art and politics in the Renaissance are among his main interests. On these topics he has published extensively and organised several international conferences and workshops. Among his publications: Rinascimento estense. Politica, cultura, istituzioni di un antico Stato italiano (Laterza, 2001); Courts and Courtly Arts in Renaissance Italy. Arts, Culture and Politics (Antique Collector’s Club, 2011); I grandi cantieri del rinnovamento urbano. Esperienze italiane ed europee (École française de Rome, 2011); Wounded Cities. The Representation of Urban Disasters in European Art (Brill, 2015); A Renaissance Architecture of Power. Princely Palaces in Italian Quattrocento (Brill, 2016).