Modern Architecture and the Actualisation of History: Bruno Zevi and Michelangiolo Architetto

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Title Modern Architecture and the Actualisation of History: Bruno Zevi and Michelangiolo Architetto
Author Leach, Andrew
Publication Title Proceedings of the XXVth International Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand
Editor David Beynon & Ursula De Jong
Year Published 2008
Place of publication Geelong, Australia
Publisher SAHANZ
Abstract In 1964, Paolo Portoghesi and Bruno Zevi curated the exhibition “Michelangiolo architetto” in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the death of Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564). It was accompanied by a book in which Zevi outlined a programme for understanding how Michelangelo could be an intellectual and professional model for contemporary architects negotiating the post-war inheritance of modernist functionalism. This paper considers Zevi's argument in detail as one instance in the longer history of the reception of historical knowledge within architectural culture and its instrumental arms during the 1960s. By what process did Zevi make Michelangelo's oeuvre available to modern architecture, and to what ends? The paper suggests that the answer to these questions can inform a study of the long-baroque, which for Zevi and his contemporaries entertained a lineage from Michelangelo to Piranesi. By focussing on this specific case in discourse with questions concerning the framing of this study on Michelangelo and his twentieth century historiography, the paper prefaces a study of the more substantial instrumentalisation of baroque architectural history that follows in the 1960s and 1970s. The paper argues that Zevi developed the terms of his history of this later development in his treatment of Michelangelo. With this wider historiographical context in mind, Zevi's presentation of Michelangelo, as recalled here, sheds light on the limitations of critico-historical categories as well as on the projective capacity of historical “lessons”. Considering the agenda of Michelangiolo architetto, the paper positions this example within the intellectual history of twentieth century architectural culture.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Copyright Statement Copyright remains with the author 2008. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this conference please refer to the conference's website or contact the author.
ISBN 978-0-9581925-4-5
Conference name SAHANZ 2008 : History in practice : Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the Society of Arch
Location Geelong, Australia
Date From 2008-07-03
Date To 2008-07-06
Date Accessioned 2011-05-30
Language en_AU
Research Centre Urban Research Program
Faculty Faculty of Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology
Subject Architectural History and Theory
WWW reference
Publication Type Conference Publications (Full Written Paper - Refereed)
Publication Type Code e1x

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