A Panorama of Turin

Torino, Panorama generale

Torino, Panorama generale, ca. 1914
Source: ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv / Fotograf: Unbekannt / Fel_031762-RE / Public domain mark
CLICK TO ENLARGE

The rich online image collections of the ETH Zürich hold countless treasures, including aerial photographs, historic bookplates, the collection of the Fotostiftung Schweiz, historic scientific instruments, field research photography in geology and botany, and historic photographs of buildings in Zurich. Many images are available with some type of Creative Commons license, or are in the public domain. A great deal of the collection consists of postcards, with some unusual examples such as this five-part accordion-folded panorama of Turin dating to around 1914.

The photographs used in the panorama were apparently taken from the Monte dei Cappuccini, on the east side of the Po River just outside the historic center of the city. The leftmost image looks south-southwest, upstream along the Po, toward the Castello del Valentino. Moving from left to right and facing westward, the images successively pan from southwest to north-northwest, while the final, rightmost image looks northeast toward the basilica of Superga. Near the right edge of the central image, the spire of the Mole Antonelliana punctuates the skyline. Together, the five photographs pan well over 180°. The Po runs along the foreground of the entire panorama, while the Alps form a continuous backdrop, a vivid illustration of Turin as the “città subalpina.”

The ETH image archive also holds similar panoramas of numerous other cities and landscapes. Besides many variations on Alpine panoramas, these include Berlin, Bologna, Budapest, Lugano, Lyon, Palermo, Valletta, and Oahu!

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