Friday, 26 January 2007

Transformations between exterior and interior: Santa Maria Maddalena, Rome

During the seventeenth century the political system of absolutism expressed itself in urban form through the creation of spaces, buildings and interiors which sought to represent cosmic order within the constrained and irregular pattern of the city. A commercial motive animated the development of Piazza Santa Maria Maddalena, (c. 1695-1735) although the venerability of its location north of the Pantheon resulted in a morphologically conventional if stylistically unusual design. The ensemble of piazza, facade and interior exhibits the fluid ingenuity with which designers attempted to make a form of continuity between everyday experience and the ideal, manifested in full-bodied urban theatricality which is increasingly elaborate in its decoration.

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