Filippo Juvarra

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Juvarra, Filippo (1678–1736). A pupil of Carlo Fontana, he was arguably the most gifted architect of his time in Italy, and carried on a late-Baroque tradition evolved by Bernini. His architecture is characterized by its pellucid forms, sustained invention, and perfectly balanced massing, while his command of decorative devices was extensive and inventive.

He was appointed Architect to Duke Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy (1675–1730) in 1714 (the Duke having assumed the title of King of Sicily and Piedmont in 1713), and proceeded to realize the monarch's ambition to elevate Turin into a Royal capital by designing and building a vast range of churches, lodges, palaces, and villas, as well as planning large new areas of the expanding city. His masterpiece is the Church and Monastery of Superga, Turin (1716–31), with its temple-portico, tall, elegant cupola, and delightful twin campanili, but the church of San Filippo Neri (1717 and 1730–6—a variation on Alberti's Sant'Andrea, Mantua) and the emphatic façade added to Castellamonte's Church of Santa Cristina (1715) are also demonstrative of his mastery of the Baroque style.

Juvarra designed the Castello at Venaria Reale (1714–26), with its spectacular chapel (1716–21), the Palazzo Birago di Borgaro (1716), the Palazzo Madama (1718–21), and the Castello Reale, Rivoli (1718–21), among others. His greatest palace for the King was the Palazzina di Stupinigi, near Turin (1729–33), with an elliptical nucleus and four radiating wings: it is the grandest hunting-lodge in Europe, with its remarkable salone decorated in the richest possible fashion. Juvarra also designed the garden-front of the La Granja Palace at San Ildefonso, near Segovia in Spain, and was working on the Royal Palace, Madrid, when he died. This last owed much to Bernini's third design for the Louvre in Paris, and was completed by Giovanni Battista Sacchetti.


Boscarino (1973);
Carboneri (ed.) (1979);
Cormoli & Griseri (eds.)(1995);
A. Correa et al. (1998);
Gritella (1992);
H. Hager (1970);
Millon (1984);
Placzek (ed.) (1982);
Pommer (1967);
Rovere et al. (1973);
Severo (ed.) (1996);
Jane Turner (1996);
Viale (ed.) (1966);
Wittkower (1982)

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Filippo Juvarra (fēlēp´pō yōōvär´rä), 1678–1736, Italian architect of the late baroque and early rococo periods. Trained in the studio of Carlo Fontana in Rome, he entered (1714) the service of Victor Amadeus II of Savoy and was soon appointed first architect to the king. Juvarra acquired an unparalleled reputation throughout Europe. In 1719 he was in Portugal, planning the palace at Mafra for King John V, after which he traveled to London and Paris. He died in Madrid, where he had gone (1735) to design a royal palace for Philip V. The main body of his work, however, is in Piedmont, where he planned many royal residences and churches. Among them are the Palazzo Madama, Turin; the castle at Stupinigi; and the churches of the Superga near Turin and of the Carmine, Turin. Drawing mainly from Italian and German Renaissance and baroque works, Juvarra integrated a variety of elements, achieving unity and grandeur of design.

See R. Pommer, Eighteenth Century Architecture in Piedmont (1967).

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Juvarra, Filippo (1678–1736) Italian architect, one of the finest exponents of the Baroque style. His greatest achievements are the Superga (1717–31), just outside Turin, and the Church of the Carmine (1732).