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Architecture, Opportunity, and Conflict in Eighteenth-Century Sicily

Rebuilding after Natural Disaster

284 pages
Amsterdam University Press
The catastrophic Sicilian earthquake of 1693 led to the rebuilding of over 60 towns in the island’s south-west. The rebuilding extended into the eighteenth century and gave opportunities for the reassertion and the transformation of power relations. Although eight of the towns are now protected by UNESCO, the remarkable architecture resulting from this rebuilding is little known outside Sicily.
This is the first book-length study in English of this interesting area of early modern architecture. Rather than seek to address all of the towns, five case studies discuss key aspects of the rebuilding by approaching the architecture from different scales, from that of a whole town to parts of a town, or single buildings, or parts of buildings and their decoration. Each case study also investigates a different theoretical assumption in architecture, including ideas of the Baroque, rational planning, and the relegation of decoration in architectural discourse.
Author Bio
Martin Nixon is Assistant Professor of Art History at Zayed University, United Arab Emirates. His research interests include Southern Italian art and architecture, architecture and political power, urbanism and territorial transformation, the reception of architectural ornament, and questions of cultural and stylistic hybridity in architecture. Nixon completed his doctoral dissertation on the eighteenth-century rebuilding of the Val di Noto, Sicily with York University in 2018. In 2011, he received the John Fleming Travel Award to assist his doctoral research in Sicily. He completed an MA in Art History at the Open University in December 2007 with a dissertation on the eighteenth-century Sansevero Chapel in Naples.