In the “Poliotecnico” journal (1865-1866) Boito wrote “On some books on Italian Medieval buildings” and about some monuments which don’t concern only with Lombard-Romanesque style, mentioning Gravina’s study on the Cathedral of Monreale (Palermo, 1859). Boito does not support Gravina’s thesis that “Sicily invented the pointed arch […], taught to the Northern, and taught a bit to the Byzantines”, but he embraces the Gravina’s idea of a Siculo-Norman art as a native art. This interpretation allows Boito to clinch the Italian character of the Sicilian medieval architecture, instead of deriving it from the oriental art, inscribing the Siculo-Norman style in the big family of Romanesque, and codify in this article “a first division in local settings: Sicily, Southern Italy, Central Italy, Northern Italy”. The accreditation of a Siculo-Norman style is coherent with the Boito’s needs to build a homogeneous cultural reality: the issue is to find a style which can represent Italy, instead of selecting the neo-Romanesque as a modern style. However, Boito’s rediscovery of Medieval Sicilian style shows some clear contradictions: Sicilian style is embraced as a local declination of a common national language, that is the Romanesque; covering the entire Italian style that connect the south (Levantine Arabic) with the north (Franco-German), this “siculo-norman” dialect run the risk of becoming a syncretism. And finally, for its characteristic structures that are typical of the North and South Europe, isn’t it the most international “dialect” of the world? Boito omits the question; and, later on (1872,1881), he assets his point of view defying Romanesque as a modern style and national language. In this way, Boito links Sicilian past (and future) architecture to national events, avoiding the contamination between Siculo-Norman style and romantic Orientalism that begins to emerge after 1860. Avoiding exoticism temptations, Boito can melt his neo-Romanesque with Arab-Syrian suggestions, as it is shown in his Ponti’s Chapel in Gallarate and in his Padua Museum portal (1879). At this point, neo-Romanesque is a lock pick: it is the passe-partout that will allow the young Ernesto Basile to use Arab-Norman style as an autochthonous Sicilian style during the National Exposition held in Palermo in 1891 and - at the same time - as a peculiar characteristic of the national Romanesque style; and finally to define the Arab-Norman style as one that adheres to the international Art Nouveau style.

DEL SILENZIO. SU BOITO E LA SICILIA

ARCIDIACONO, Giuseppe Carlo
2018

Abstract

In the “Poliotecnico” journal (1865-1866) Boito wrote “On some books on Italian Medieval buildings” and about some monuments which don’t concern only with Lombard-Romanesque style, mentioning Gravina’s study on the Cathedral of Monreale (Palermo, 1859). Boito does not support Gravina’s thesis that “Sicily invented the pointed arch […], taught to the Northern, and taught a bit to the Byzantines”, but he embraces the Gravina’s idea of a Siculo-Norman art as a native art. This interpretation allows Boito to clinch the Italian character of the Sicilian medieval architecture, instead of deriving it from the oriental art, inscribing the Siculo-Norman style in the big family of Romanesque, and codify in this article “a first division in local settings: Sicily, Southern Italy, Central Italy, Northern Italy”. The accreditation of a Siculo-Norman style is coherent with the Boito’s needs to build a homogeneous cultural reality: the issue is to find a style which can represent Italy, instead of selecting the neo-Romanesque as a modern style. However, Boito’s rediscovery of Medieval Sicilian style shows some clear contradictions: Sicilian style is embraced as a local declination of a common national language, that is the Romanesque; covering the entire Italian style that connect the south (Levantine Arabic) with the north (Franco-German), this “siculo-norman” dialect run the risk of becoming a syncretism. And finally, for its characteristic structures that are typical of the North and South Europe, isn’t it the most international “dialect” of the world? Boito omits the question; and, later on (1872,1881), he assets his point of view defying Romanesque as a modern style and national language. In this way, Boito links Sicilian past (and future) architecture to national events, avoiding the contamination between Siculo-Norman style and romantic Orientalism that begins to emerge after 1860. Avoiding exoticism temptations, Boito can melt his neo-Romanesque with Arab-Syrian suggestions, as it is shown in his Ponti’s Chapel in Gallarate and in his Padua Museum portal (1879). At this point, neo-Romanesque is a lock pick: it is the passe-partout that will allow the young Ernesto Basile to use Arab-Norman style as an autochthonous Sicilian style during the National Exposition held in Palermo in 1891 and - at the same time - as a peculiar characteristic of the national Romanesque style; and finally to define the Arab-Norman style as one that adheres to the international Art Nouveau style.
9788857542942
Eclettismo; Stile Moderno; Antico/Nuovo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/15843
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