the macchiaioli school urbanistic renovations, the small villas - art and history of florence

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  15. The Macchiaioli School Urbanistic Renovations, the Small Villas  

Giovanni Fattori, La rotonda di Palmieri, Florence, Pitti Palace, Gallery of Modern ArtDuring the Mid-1800's the Macchiaioli movement exploded in Florence, (shortly after the French Impressionist period which similarly opposed naturalism). Fattori, Lega, Signorini, Sernesi, D'Ancona, Borrani, supported by the theorists Cecioni and Martelli, who used to frequent the Michelangelo coffee house in Via Larga, gave birth to a new conception of painting based on the "macchia" technique (literally "stain"): in other words the coloured blobs of light and darkness that the eye percieves. This was also an answer to the new scientific theories on light and colour that were emerging.
Giuseppe Poggi's urbanistic planning was aimed at giving the town an international aspect. Old walls were demolished to make way for new residential areas and a great deal of classical and pre-renaissance-styled villas and stylish palaces, not altogether without a certain monumental dignity, (for example the buildings along the Arno). The town houses built in long orderly rows; imitate in miniature, just like the 18th Century houses did, the style of the suburban villas.
Some interesting buildings were erected in the mid-1800's following the international lines of 'metal architecture', such as the San Lorenzo market by Mengoni, (who also designed the famous Milan Gallery), Sant'Ambrogio market building and the beautiful greenhouse in the Horticultural Garden by Roster, who was also the author of the refined Tivoli gardens along the Viale dei Colli.


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