By Anne Leader
Architect Luigi Vanvitelli died on 1 March 1773 in Caserta, where he had been employed by King Charles VII of Naples (r. 1734-59), later King Charles III of Spain (r. 1759-88), to build a grand palace. Often noted as one of the primary figures responsible for the transition from Baroque to Neoclassical architectural style, Vanvitelli designed furnishings, chapels, churches, and palaces. He was a finalist in several important Roman competitions and was employed on numerous restoration projects in Rome. Often called the Versailles of Italy, Palazzo Reale at Caserta is his best-known project; it recently received a 22-million euro grant for much-needed repairs.
Reference: Jörg Garms. “Vanvitelli, Luigi.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.
Further reading: Cesare De Seta. Luigi Vanvitelli. Naples: Electa, 2000.
Barbara Tetti and Maria Pierra Setti, The Restoration of Architecture and Works of Art in the Eighteenth Century: the Vocabulary, Theory and Achievement of Luigi Vanvitelli. Edwin Meller, 2016.
Royal Palace of Caserta — exterior, throne room, staircase
Giacinto Diano, Portrait of Luigi Vanvitelli, 18th cent., Palace at Caserta