By Jean Marie Carey

Architect Luigi Cagnola died 14 August 1833 in Como. Born in Milan in 1762, Cagnola was a prodigy who attended Collegio Pio Clementino in Rome as a teenager and earned a law degree from the University of Padua by the time he was 20 years old. Cagnola had a particular interest in the restoration of historic buildings, carefully conforming his repairs to the style of the original architecture.

Milan’s first Arco della Pace (1806) near Porta Orientale was temporary, erected by Cagnola to celebrate the marriage of the Viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais to Amalia of Bavaria. It was so admired that it was rebuilt in marble on the Strada del Sempione in 1807. Several of Cagnola’s most successful works were produced in the last 20 years of his life, including the Campanile at Urgnano and his own villa at Inverigo, near Como.

Reference: Gianni Mezzanotte. “Cagnola, Luigi.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. .

Arco della Pace, Milan, 1807. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Sant’Ambrogio Basilica, Milan. Originating in the15th century, the basilica was restored in 1812 by Cagnola. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Porta Ticinese, Milan, dating from the 12th Century; restored by Cagnola c. 1810. Photo from Lombardia Cultural Heritage Foundation.

Neoclassical temple at Giardini della Guastalla, Milan. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Benedetto Cacciatori, Monument to Luigi Cagnola, Palace of Brera, Milan.  Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Campanile at Urgnano, c. 1825. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Further Reading: Michela Rossi, Sylvie Duvernoy, and Giampiero Mele. Milano. Maths in the City: A Mathematical Tour of Milanese Architecture. Rimini: Maggioli, 2012.

Jack Basehart and Ralph Toledano. Italian Splendor: Castles, Palaces, and Villas. New York: Rizzoli, 1990 (Reissued 2015).

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