By Jennifer D. Webb

Architect Bernardo Vittone was born on August 19th, 1702 in Turin. Over the course of his career he worked in small towns in the region of his birth. In 1732, he spent a year in Rome studying at the Accademia di San Luca. Immediately after his return to Turin he collaborated with the Theatines on an edition of Guarino Guarini’s Architettura Civile (1737). This undertaking familiarized Vittone with Guarini’s ideas at the same time that he could experience first-hand the near-complete buildings of another great architect, Filippo Juvarra. Rudolf Wittkower notes that it was Vittone who “reconciled the manner of Guarini with that of Juvarra.” (47)

While Vittone completed both secular and ecclesiastical buildings, it is for the latter that he is best known. His first project, the Sanctuary at Vallinotto (near Carignano) was begun in 1738 and typifies the architect’s preference for centralized planning. Wittkower notes that “the interior surpasses that of the exterior” and that the hexagonal-plan with segmented chapels is “a climax right at the beginning.” (48)

Reference: Wittkower, Rudolf. Art and Architecture in Italy 1600-1750. (1999)

Bernardo Vittone, Sanctuary, Vallinotto (1738-39) (photo credit: K. Weise)

Further Reading: Oliver Bernier, “Turin’s Baroque Splendors.” The New York Times (1990); Guarino Guarini, Architettura Civile. London: Forgotten Books, 2018.

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