Committenza e cantiere. Note d’archivio per palazzo Cusani a Milano
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Patrons and the construction site. Archive information for Palazzo Cusani in Milan MARICA FORNI The essay focuses on the reading of previously unpublished documents on the historical uses of Palazzo Cusani, in an attempt to link the patronage of Abbot Gerolamo Cusani to Roman architect Giovanni Ruggeri, to define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.
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