Following the illustration of the Lincoln Memorial in No. 1, we present as the second of our series of "Modern Masterpieces of Classical Architecture," the Monument to Victor Emmanuel, which was dedicated in Rome, June 4, 1911.
The monument is on a colossal scale. It stands against the Capitoline hill and serves as a pedestal for a gilded bronze statue of Victor Emmanuel, the King Liberator of Italy, who is regarded as the father of his country. It consists of an immense platform 78 feet above the level of the Piazza Venezia, approached by imposing flights of stairs, ornamented with statuary, columns, and fountains. In the background is a carved colonnade, which conceals the Church of the Ara Coeli. The entire structure is built of white marble from quarries near Brescia. The enormous portico is five hundred feet long, four hundred and fifty feet deep, and two hundred and fifty feet high.
The design, which was thrown open to international competition, was made by a young Italian architect, Count Sacconi. The corner-stone was laid in March, 1885, and nearly thirty years' work has been put upon it. "Some idea of the size of the colossal statue of Victor Emmanuel may be gained when it is mentioned that the trappings of the horse on which the King is seated weigh some four tons. The king's sabre, which is more than thirteen feet long, weighs nearly seven hundredweight; the pistol holders are higher than an ordinary man; the breast of the horse weighs nearly seven tons; the head of the figure, with its helmet is two and half [sic?] in height and weighs more than two tons. The horse and the figure had to be cast in thirteen pieces."
It is of great archaeological interest that the design of the Victor Emmanuel Monument was suggested by the plan of the ruined Temple of Fortuna at Praeneste. A large and impressive drawing which hangs in the Mayor's room of the municipal building at Preaneste gives a restoration of this temple, imposing in its style and proportions, and the similarity is striking.
Reconstruction of Temple of Fortuna at Palastrina/Praeneste.
The monument does not possess the "noble na´vetÚ and placid grandeur" of the proposed Lincoln Memorial in Washington, but is rather grandiose, and its colossal proportions seem to dwarf even the city of Rome. Yet in this respect we feel quite sympathetic with the attitude of Mr. R. H. Titherington (Munsey's Magazine, July):
"Many foreigners have criticised this vast pile of glittering white marble as too grandiose and disproportionately costly--as a striking instance of that love of mere magnitude which has always been a weakness of the Italian genius. They have urged that it is vandalism to sweep away, for its sake, such historic buildings as the tower of Paul II and the house of Michelangelo."
"They should remember that to the people of Rome and of Italy this truly remarkable structure, almost the dominating architectural feature of the Eternal City, is much more than a dead king's monument. It is the expression of a great national purpose, the seal of a dramatic accomplishment, the symbol of a striking chapter of history."
2010.06.04: Neither of these places exist anymore.
Archinect @ Postopolis!
Not so much outside, rather, more beyond inside. Very much in the territory, but not within the normal restraints of the territory.
If you're in the fourth dimension, does that mean you can have your cake and eat it too?
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