When the monument to the Renaissance philosopher Giordano Bruno – burnt at the stake in Rome in the year 1600 – was unveiled in June 1889, it was as the outcome of a bitter and protracted political contest between clericals and anti-clericals in which a great part of the Italian society had been forced to take sides. The project generated a vast and varied documentary material, which has not previously been studied for scientific purposes. The aims of the present study are i) to reconstruct the history of the project, ii) to explain the design, placing and significance of this particular monument and iii) at the same time to elucidate the forces and mechanisms behind 19th century "monumentomania" in general.The historical monuments of the period are viewed as results of complex processes involving a wide variety of factors – ideological, political, religious, economic and aesthetic. A general outline of the contemporary theoretical prerequisites of the genre and the prevailing political situation in Rome and Italy is given in the introduction. The following four chapters are dedicated to a detailed reconstruction of the project's history, from its origin in the nationalistic propaganda of the Risorgimento period, to the international repercussions of the inauguration. Using a number of different sources (among them the sculptor's private papers, documents from municipal, state and Vatican archives) the author identifies the principal actors, traces their motives and interrelations.The fifth chapter discusses the original concept of the monument, the modifications brought about by changes in local and national politics, and the type and potency of various other factors affecting its design. Special attention is given to the monument's relation to its immediate surroundings and to the complicated political topography of Rome – capital of both the secular Italian state and the Roman Catholic church.With an English summary, four appendices in Italian and 118 illustrations.
|Publication status||Published - 1991|
|MoE publication type||G4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)|
- 19th century art
- Giordano Bruno