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Hardcover | ISBN: 9780262050388 | 760 pp. | 8.2 x 11.1 x 1.9 in | August 1991

Modernism in Italian Architecture, 1890-1940


Richard Etlin's sweeping, generously illustrated study explores the changing idea of modernism in Italian architecture over the five crucial decades that saw the birth and crystallization of modern architecture. Systematically treating the major architects and movements of the period - such as Raimondo D'Aronoco and Art Nouveau, Antonio Sant'Elia and Futurism, Marcello Piacentini and the modern vernacular, Giovanni Muzio and the Novecento, Giuseppe Terragni and Italian Rationalism - this book also explores the ways in which the original ideals of the various movements were transformed by working for the Fascist state.Modernism in Italian Architecture examines the legacy of the romantic revolution, which confronted architects with the dilemma of how to create an architecture that was both modern and national. It challenges accepted opinion on a variety of issues. Etlin argues against too close an association of Sant'Elia's architecture and manifesto with Futurism by demonstrating a broader context for its themes. His study of Novecento architecture chronicles a movement whose use of classical detailing created a "postmodernism" contemporaneous with the pioneering buildings of the International Style elsewhere in Europe and preceding its arrival in Italy. Etlin undermines the notion that the architects of Italian Rationalism blindly followed an antihistorical credo, by bringing to fight the profoundly contextual nature of the abstract geometries of the best Rationalist architecture.The final section, devoted to Fascism, focuses on Terragni's famous Casa del Fascio in Como and the Danteurn project by Terragni and Lingeri. Etlin concludes with a consideration of the anti-Semitic attacks on modern architecture during the Fascist racial campaign of 1938.Richard Etlin is Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Maryland.

About the Author

Richard Etlin is Distinguished University Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Maryland.


Winner, category of Architecture and Urban Studies in the 1991 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Annual Awards Competition presented by the Association of American Publishers, Inc.