Vanvitelli, Luigi (1700-1773)

"Vanvitelli, Luigi (1700-1773)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011

Luigi Vanvitelli, Italian architect, engineer and painter, was born in Naples in 1700 and died in Caserta in 1773; the son of a Dutch painter Gaspard Van Wittel. He studied art, sciences and other subjects in Rome. He was a representative of the classicist tendency in art, where were used the elements of the ancient tradition, Italian Renaissance and Baroque. After being nominated the architect of St Peter's (1726), he attracted much attention of the contemporaries by the project for the facade of the St John Lateran (1732). So, by the will of the pope Clement XII, Vanvitelli till 1745 was involved in numerous projects: Lazzaretto (1733-1738) (the hospital -fortress) and the church of the Jesus (1743) (Ancona); Santa Maria Maddalena (from 1740) (Pesaro). Later continued to work in Rome: palaces Chigi-Odescalchi and Sciarra (library); the church S.Maria degli Angeli (1749); St Peter's in Vatican (dome consolidation and some internal adjustments) (1750).
vanvitelli scalone
In 1751 Vanvitelli moved to Naples, accepting the invitation of Charles III Borbone, for who created Reggia di Caserta (see on the photo), the enormous architectonic construction, including four courtyards, galleries and a park. Being in kingdom of Naples the artist executed some other works such as: Palazzo Reale of Naples (1753) and other private palaces; aqueduct Carolino and viaducts of the valley of Maddaloni (1753-1768) (Caserta); bridge on the river Calore (Benevento). Should also be noticed: barracks of cavalry at the bridge of Maddalena (1757); Foro Carolino and the church of the Santissima Annunziata (Naples); Villa Campolieto (circa 1766) (Resina). The painting activity of Vanvitelly left very few examples: frescoes in the Cappella delle Reliquie in the church Santa Cecilia in Trastevere (Rome).

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