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date: 31 March 2020

Vespignani, Virgilio [Virginio]locked

(b Rome, Feb 12, 1808; d Rome, Dec 4, 1882).
  • Gretchen G. Fox



(b Rome, Feb 12, 1808; d Rome, Dec 4, 1882).

Italian architect. As a young draughtsman he contributed illustrations to books popularizing Roman archaeology, such as Edward Dodwell’s I sette colli di Roma (London, 1829). Vespignani trained under Luigi Poletti and worked with him (1837–69) on the reconstruction of S Paolo fuori le mura, continuing the work on Poletti’s death. Three sides of the great quadriporticus were finished (1893) to his designs after his own death. A favourite of Pope Pius IX (reg 1846–78), he benefited from the many papal commissions generated during his reign. He applied historical revival styles to his work, for instance in his Madonna dell’Archetto Chapel (1851) in the Via di S Marcello, and the Confessio (1864) in S Maria Maggiore, both in Rome. Three early works were public monuments in Rome, including the new façade of the Porta Pia (1852–68), an eclectic work with elements borrowed from the Arch of Titus. In contrast, his Porta S Pancrazio (...

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U. Thieme and F. Becker, eds: Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, 37 vols (Leipzig, 1907–50) [see also Meissner above]
P. Portoghesi, ed.: Dizionario enciclopedico di architettura e urbanistica, 6 vols (Rome, 1968–9)