Palaces of Sicily

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Antique Collectors Club Limited, 2004 - Architecture - 323 pages
This book is the first to trace the evolution in style of the fabulous homes that have been built on the island, from feudal castles to city mansions and country villas.
At the height of the Baroque period, Sicily became a hotbed of original architectural and decorative elements. During the rebuilding that followed the terrible earthquake of 1683, eastern Sicily gave birth to a whole new artistic vocabulary. In this context, suffice it to mention Palazzo Biscari in Catania. But Palermo was not to be outdone and sumptuous private mansions sprang up. The most notable of these was Palazzo Valguarnera-Gangi. In the 18th century, taking holidays in the countryside just outside town became fashionable and buildings such as the magnificent Villa Valguarnera and the extravagant Villa Palagonia reached an architectural zenith.
The taste for Neoclassical style swept in at the end of the 18th century. But at almost the same time the great age of stylistic revivals started. This movement was to last throughout the 19th century. It came to an end with the advent of Art Nouveau, known in Italy as Liberty Style, of which Palermo became a leading exponent.

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Gioaccbino Lanza Tomasi
Palaces and Villas

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About the author (2004)

Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi is currently director of the Italian Cultural Institute in New York.

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