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date: 10 December 2019

Amati, Carlolocked

(b Monza, Aug 22, 1776; d Milan, May 23, 1852).
  • Gianni Mezzanotte

Extract

(b Monza, Aug 22, 1776; d Milan, May 23, 1852).

Italian architect and writer. He studied architecture at the Accademia di Brera, Milan, under Giuseppe Zanoia (1752–1817), the Accademia’s secretary, and later taught there himself. At the beginning of his career he was involved in the hurried completion (1806–13) of the façade of Milan Cathedral, which was carried out under the direction and with the collaboration of Zanoia. Napoleon’s order that the façade should be completed economically determined the execution of the work, which was carried out in a simple Gothic style derived from the cathedral’s aisles, and it was later judged to be deficient on a number of counts, including its workmanship. The church of S Carlo al Corso (1838–47) in Milan was Amati’s most significant building. Here he grafted 16th-century motifs on to a centralized Roman plan in such a way as to recall both the Pantheon in Rome and the circular Milanese church of S Sebastiano, as well as Bramantesque models and the buildings frequently seen in the backgrounds of Renaissance paintings. The design for the church was part of a proposal (largely unexecuted) to reorder the entire centre of the city. Amati proposed that a vast arcaded square be opened up around the cathedral and that the Corsia dei Servi (now Corso Vittorio Emanuele) should be straightened to lead up to S Carlo, where another piazza, relating architecturally to the church, was proposed. At the time when eclecticism was spreading in Italy and overturning accepted criteria of artistic quality, Amati advocated a return to Vitruvian principles. To this end he produced a series of publications devoted to Vignola, Vitruvius, Roman antiquities in Milan, and on archaeology. The completion of the church of S Carlo and Amati’s death, however, marked the end of the Neo-classical movement in Italy....

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