Du palais génois à la Renaissance italienne (1550-1620): grammaire illustrée et rhétorique d'un type architectural

The city of Genova possesses an exceptional architectural ensemble, a street lined with palaces constructed between Mannerism and Baroque known as the Strada Nuova (presently via Garibaldi). The painter and ambassador Pierre Paul Rubens was so strongly impressed by it that he made it into a book in 1622. Strada Maggior, Via Aurea, Rue des Rois, as named by Madame de Staël, one of the most beautiful streets in the world according to Stendhal, the Strada Nuova has attracted the eyes of travellers, writers, artists and architects ; its palaces have been the object of important studies from 1622 (Rubens) to 1967 (University of Genoa) relayed by those of the French Martin-Pierre Gauthier in 1818 and the German Robert Reinhardt in 1886. Still standing in 1992, the Genoese palaces have been only partly studied and are far less recognized than in the past. Following a brief introduction concerning the geographical and historical situation as well the urban development of Genova, the object is to present the characteristics of the Genoese palace by means of series of plates, drawn according to a long tradition in which drawing becomes the tool of analysis, interpretation and communication. The twelve palaces (of which ten border the Strada Nuova and two the via Balbi) are made up into plates. They are drawn at the same scale and include for each the ground floor, the first level, the façade and the two principal sections, representing their original state and their transformations carried out over the years. Through the study of the palaces' delineations, from analytical, comparative and typological plates, little by little, fragment by fragment, one distinguishes the articulations of the Genoese palace, and thus discovers an authentic unity of discourse ; it is possible to recognize a grammar and a language that serve eloquence and propriety.

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