Statues in Cities

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Statues in Cities

Postby constat » Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:38 pm

Hi all,

I’d like to start a thread dealing with the subject of statues in cities, I may be “hors sujet” on this as I’m not sure if the theme should be disused on a forum devoted to architecture.
I would like to read your views on the role they play for example in embellishing a street or square; are there statues that do not have their place and could be replaced with something more aesthetic such as a fountain, obelisk etc.?
I think it was Benjamin Franklin who, during his 10 or so years working as a diplomat in Paris before the American Revolution, said he disliked the many statues he saw in the city at that period, he thought they were incompatible with the ideal of a republic and would be against their being erected in the new republic that would soon see the light of day in America
Benjamin Franklin apart, (whose statue ironically, can be seen in many cities throughout the world), I’m really interested in the aesthetic value they can bring to a public place and if there should be more or less of them.

Thank you for your comments.
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Re: Statues in Cities

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:55 pm

Interesting subject and one touched upon in relation to the Mariensaeule on another thread. I would not however see an exclusivity between statues and fountains or columns or obelisk etc. These have often been combined to spectacular effect in urban planning schemes - e-g- St. Peter's Square in Rome; the Fontana de Trevi, Rome, the Piazza dell'Esedra, Rome, the Piazza di Spagna, Rome, Piazza di San Giovanni, Rome, and, what must be the most spectacular of all, the Piazza Navona in Rome. I shall post some images later.

I cannot imagine why Benjamin Franklin should have equated the non-erection of statues with the republican ideal. After all, statues were commonly erected in the fora of ancient Rome - the most famous of which must surely be that of Pompeus Magnus which was in the portico attached to the theatre he built in 55 BC, at the foot of which Julius Caesar expired. BF must have drawn this idea from somewhere else.
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Re: Statues in Cities

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:22 pm

And here we have an another example: the horse pond in the Piazza della Fontana di Trevi:
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Re: Statues in Cities

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:28 pm

The Piazza dell'Esedra, planned by Pius IX and completed in 1910 as the "caput" for the Aqua Pia Antiqua Marchia which Pius IX had brought into the City:
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Re: Statues in Cities

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:39 pm

And one of the most charming of all: Bernini's Piazza Santa Maria sopra Minerva
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Re: Statues in Cities

Postby Praxiteles » Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:11 pm

And the drawing-room of Rome: Piazza della Rotunda

The fountain, with statues and obelisck, was erected by Pope Clement XI, in 1711, to commemorate the 11th. year of his pontificate. It was erected for the "fori et fontis ornamento" and the sum of the dates amount to an oblique reference to the age of Our Lord, 33.

The veduta is by the Belgian Franz Vervoloet and was painted about 1824/25 showing the square just after Pope Pius VII had removed the fish market from the portico of the Pantheon (note the gates) and cleared the slum taverns on the opposite side of the square by what was referred to in the official inscription as a "providentissima molitione".
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Re: Statues in Cities

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:31 am

And then, the Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano.

The last picture shows the view of the Piazza as drawn by the great Sicilian scrivner Giuseppe Vasi made c. 1748.
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Re: Statues in Cities

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:06 am

For statues in squares, the Piazza del Popolo must surely be the greatest example of all.

The Piazza del Popolo lies immediatly within the Flamminia Gate, the main gate coming from the North, and is traversed by the central North-South axix of the City.

The development of the square is complex. In 1589, Pope Sixtus V erected the obelisk which had been brought to Rome by Augustus from Heliopolis where it had been erected by Rameses II.

The basic town planning of the area laid out by Sixtus V was finally completed by the time of the entry of Queen Christina of Sweden into the City in 1656. From her, the main axis of Rome, the Via del Corso, is falnked by the churches of Santa Maria in Montesanto and Santa Maria dei Miracoli.

The square was finally completed under Giuseppe Valadier who began work in 1816 under Pope Pius VII. The works were finally completed in 18 34 under Pope Gregory XVI.
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Re: Statues in Cities

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:15 am

And some more shots of the Piazza del Popolo including Giuseppe Vasi's veduta of 1748
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Re: Statues in Cities

Postby PVC King » Sun Dec 24, 2006 5:51 pm

One of the funniest stories must be the removal of the statue of Pizzaro from the Plaza De Armas in Lima

The local Bishop decided because the statue was facing the wrong way i.e. its rump faced the Cathedral that it must be removed. The local municpal authorities amazingly acceeded to his demand http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/showflat.php?Number=167160&page=0

Heres what it used to look like
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