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Italian Renaissance - Modern Architecture

( Originally Published 1921 )

Modern architecture, not only in Florence, Rome, and Venice, but also in the whole of Italy, has, with few exceptions, been faithful to the Renaissance style, but it is natural that, with such a heritage of monuments, there should be comparatively few modern buildings of importance.

The Monument of Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome (p. 604 c), designed by Sacconi, on the northern slope of the Capitol, has been in course of erection since A.D. 1885. It consists of a vast platform, whereon is an equestrian statue of the king, surrounded by columns 50 ft. high, and has a total height of over 200 ft. This monumental memorial terminates a remarkable vista at the end of the Corso Umberto, and dominates the Imperial city, though it somewhat disturbs the scale and even dwarfs the monuments of the past. However, it fulfils its purpose as an enduring symbol of modern Italian unity effected by the war of A.D. 1870, and also shows in its grand scheme that Italians have not lost their capacity for striking out boldly for effect.

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