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La Piazza del Garraffello a Palermo tra iconografia storica e attualità


The proposed contribution is focused on the graphic analysis of an eighteenth-century perspective view portraying one of the most ancient squares of the City of Palermo (piazza Garraffello). It is an engraving print made by F. Cichè in 1711 on commission of the Guild of Silversmiths: the square is completely described with the fountain (still existing) in the foreground, and with the corporate lodges of foreign nations in the background (these two buildings nowadays have disappeared). In the picture is also visible a temporary triumphal arch with canopy erected by the same guild who had commissioned the view: this is the object of main perspectival interest. The study of the perspective used by Cichè, however, lends itself to interpretations that do not fully converge with the reality of the places: in fact there is a basic ambiguity on what is the road framed by perspective, and many architectural elements do not correspond to the real presences of the place. The three-dimensional modeling operations performed on the critical redesign of the image - in comparison with the survey of the current situation and with other documents from the historical iconography of the city- intend to focus the attention on the use of the architectural / urban perspective more in a rhetorical-figurative way than as an effective tool for describing reality.