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«Studiosi», «dotti», «amatori» e «financo curiosi» (G. Jatta, 1869). Il disegno nella Puglia storica dell’Ottocento tra «oggetti e monumenti storici o di arte»


Andrea Leonardi



The theme of the Design and its possible print translations in the so-called “historical Apulia” can be ap­proached from several points of view. By presenting exemplary cases, this essay aims to reconstructing the circumstances that brought together men (architects, restorers, travellers, connoisseurs) and institutions (public and private museums, provinces, Society of National History) which were already present or being established in the reference area during the 19th century. At that time, growing importance was attached to the visual experience relating to different kinds of documentation; within this framework, the possibil­ities of analysis of the most diverse types of graphic translations (technical reliefs, sketches, illustrations accompanying printed texts) overlap with a wide range of leading figures: from cultured travellers – who were attentive not only to the artistic monument, but also to the more strictly archaeological object – up to the “large” world of merchants and collectors, present on several occasions in this area between the 19th and 20th centuries and attracted by the rich artistic endowment of the territory. Palazzo degli Studi di Bari, designed by the Neapolitan engineer Giovanni Castelli, acted as a catalyst for all this; it represents the synthesis and, at the same time, the starting point for this research.