Review of Jöchner, Gebaute Entfestigung

Superga

Filippo Juvarra, Basilica of Superga, Turin, 1716-1731 (photograph c. 1939)
Source: ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv / Fotograf: Unbekannt / Fel_055167-RE / Public Domain Mark

My review of Cornelia Jöchner, Gebaute Entfestigung. Architekturen der Öffnung im Turin des frühen 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts (Berlin: De Gruyter 2015) appears in the May issue of Kunstchronik. The book explores two architectural ensembles built outside Turin’s historic city walls – Superga, and Piazza Vittorio with the church of the Gran Madre di Dio. It analyzes these in the context of the spatial turn, situating them within a long-term process of defortification. Download a PDF of the review here.

Translating the title as Constructing Defortification: Architectures of Opening in Turin in the Early 18th and 19th Centuries, De Gruyter’s website provides the following description of the book:

How does a city become an open city after a long history of being walled? Turin is notable in this regard for two important architectural ensembles: the Superga Basilica and Piazza Vittorio Emanuele. Defortification means destruction as well as the creation of new spaces. The architectural features at the edges of Turin give evidence to these changes in a very specific way, for they contributed to a new political order in the city and country.

Torino, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele

Giuseppe Frizzi, Piazza Vittorio Emanuele (now Vittorio Veneto), Turin, 1825-30, with Ferdinando Bonsignore’s church of Gran Madre di Dio, 1818-31 (photograph before 1905)
Source: AKON/Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

Other Reviews

Jöchner’s book has been widely reviewed, with the following two essays available online and open access. Of the two, I found Meinrad von Engelberg’s assessment of the volume quite similar to my own.

● Meinrad von Engelberg: [Rezension zu:] Jöchner, Cornelia: Gebaute Entfestigung. Architekturen der Öffnung im Turin des frühen 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts (= Studien aus dem Warburg-Haus; 14), Berlin 2014. In: H-ArtHist, Oct 2, 2015 (accessed 29 May 2016), http://arthist.net/reviews/11139.

● Ulrich Fürst: Rezension von: Cornelia Jöchner: Gebaute Entfestigung. Architekturen der Öffnung im Turin des frühen 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts, Berlin: de Gruyter 2015
in KUNSTFORM 17 (2016), Nr. 2, http://www.arthistoricum.net/kunstform/rezension/ausgabe/2016/2/.

Turin from Superga

James Mitan, 1776–1822, Turin from the Portico of the Superga Church, 1818-1820
Source: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection / public domain