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Scienza militare e cultura dell’Antico nella Cittadella Nuova di Pisa di Giuliano da Sangallo

Giovanni Santucci 

Among the many fortresses built by Giuliano da Sangallo and his brother Antonio the Elder, the Cittadella Nuova in Pisa is the one where Giuliano was more autonomous. Moreover, this is the last important building whose construction was directly managed by the architect. Between 1509 and 1512 Giuliano reworked deeply a former military structure devised by Filippo Brunelleschi and Antonio Manetti in the previous century; furthermore, he designed a new keep with four bastions watching the Via Fiorentina, a great bulwark watching the river, and other substantial improvements of the fortress. In Scienza militare e cultura dell’Antico nella Cittadella Nuova di Pisa di Giuliano da Sangallo, the author discusses the features of the above mentioned military structures, and particularly those of the new bastioned keep
added by him, with its many interior rooms and passages; so it becomes clear that the Cittadella was not only a masterpiece of the military architecture, which would have a central role in the development of the modern bastion forts, but also a masterwork of Renaissance architecture in general. The time when he was commissioned with the renovation of the Cittadella was professionally misfortunate for Giuliano. Sidelined from the great Roman Commissions because of the competition with Bramante, the architect was engaged as a mere engineer by the authorities of the Florentine Republic. The new task gave him the occasion to give vent to creative needs and antiquarian interests, seemingly incompatible with the military function of the building.