Patrons and the construction site.
Archive information for Palazzo Cusani in Milan
The essay focuses on the reading of previously unpublished documents on
the historical uses of Palazzo Cusani, in an attempt to link the patronage of
Abbot Gerolamo Cusani to Roman architect Giovanni Ruggeri, to define a
clearer chronology of events and to put into context the projects and times
of construction within the complex, erratic development of personal affair
and patrimonial controversies among the components of the family. The
1707 post mortem inventory of the Abbot’s movables presents a “snapshot”
of the building during its construction, allowing to identify the nucleus of
its dwellings and to date the completion and assembling of the decorative
structure of the well-known façade on Via Brera to the crucial period of the
political overhaul which led to the submission of the State of Milan by the
Habsburg. The ancient building was gradually eaten away by the new
construction by Ruggeri, which extends from the individual block on Brera
to the sides of the court by the two porches, jointed to the oldest nucleus
of the palace, modified in the two phases of construction during the 1600s.
The bipolarity of Roman and Viennese styles, recognizable in the
modernity of the façade, appears to be well suited to the familiarity
between the components of the family and both the restless workshop
of architectural form of the late-baroque roman milieu – still able to
influence Northern Italy – and the capital of the Austrian Empire, taking
into account such slight, and yet important chronologic gap.