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Il palazzo arcivescovile di Palermo, da Simone Beccadelli a Giovanni Paternò. Storia e ricostruzione della configurazione quattrocentesca


In the fifties of the fifteenth century, the archbishop of Palermo Simone Beccadelli started the construction of a new archbishop’s palace in an area between the upper stretch of the ancient Cassaro road and the churchyard created along the southern side of the cathedral, whose arrangement had engaged his predecessors since the thirties of the same century. The architectural undertaking, driven by the primary need to create a residence suitable for the rank of the Palermo archibishop’s chair, therefore also assumes a strong urban significance, helping to define the same space of the churchyard and the monumental cathedral complex as a whole. If a first campaign of works would seem to be concluded by the sixties of the fifteenth century, further significant interventions are recorded at the end of the same century on commission of Archbishop Giovanni Paternò. Although substantial transformations and additions, carried out especially between the end of the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, have profoundly altered the volume and the original organization of the building, several elements (portal, a mullioned window, single lancet windows) and some fragments still allow us to hypothesize about its configuration in fifteenth century, starting from concrete data and clues. This contribution proposes, through the interaction between the usual tools of historical-critical investigation and those of drawing and digital modeling, to carry out a reconstructive hypothesis of the fifteenth-century building (in particular of its eastern front) and a critical framing of the same, in relation to its historical-artistic context.