Ernesto Basile was born on 31 January 1857 in Palermo, where he would become chair of architecture at the city’s university.

By Anne Leader

Ernesto Basile was born on 31 January 1857 in Palermo, where he would become chair of architecture at the city’s university. Associated with the Stile Liberty — the Italian version of Art Nouveau — Basile’s designs appealed to upper-middle-class patrons in his hometown, which he helped make a center of Stile Liberty fashion, second only to Turin and Milan. Though many of his buildings have been destroyed, a sense of his style can be found in private houses like the Villino Florio (1907–9) and Villa Basile (1903). One of his most important commissions was to expand the Parliament building in Rome, the Palazzo Montecitorio (1902–14), adding on to the original structure built by Gianlorenzo Bernini.


Reference: Helen M. Hills. “Basile.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. article/grove/art/T006710pg2>

Further reading: Ernesto Basile a Montecitorio (2002).


Villino Florio, 1907–9, Palermo.

Detail of Villino Florio, 1907–9, Palermo.

Photograph of Ernesto Basile, c. 1900.

Teatro Massimo, 1891–7, Palermo.

Villino Basile, 1874–78, Palermo.

Transatlantico salon, Palazzo Montecitorio, 1902–14, Rome.

Façade of Palazzo Montecitorio, Rome.

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