By Anne Leader and Alexis Culotta 

Italian architect Nicolò Bettoli was born 3 September 1780 in Parma. Initially training at the Academy of Fine Arts in Parma, Bettoli’s skill developed quickly. By the 1810s, Bettoli had become an acclaimed figure, receiving increasingly prestigious commissions and, in 1816, becoming court architect to Maria Luisa of Austria, Duchess of Parma (1791-1847).

It was during this court appointment that Bettoli garnered his most celebrated project, that for the design of Parma’s Teatro Regio (Royal Theater), built for the Duchess between 1821-1827 and officially inaugurated in 1829. Other projects included a reconstruction of her residence, renovations at the Biblioteca Palatina (Palace Library), and the Beccherie di Piazza Ghiaia — a place for butchers’ stalls that was demolished in 1928. Uniting these varied commissions was Bettoli’s flair for sophisticated yet streamlined Neoclassical form. It was this spirit that enlivened Bettoli’s work until a period of prolonged illness in 1854, which ultimately resulted in the architect’s death. 

Gretchen G. Fox. “Bettoli, Nicola.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press

Augusta Ghidina Quintavalle, “BETTOLI, Nicolò.” Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 9 (1967). 

Teatro Regio, Parma.

Beccherie di Piazza Ghiaia, Parma.

Portrait of Nicolò Bettoli.

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