Soane Museum Study Group – 2 April – William Aslet

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The Soane Museum Study Group is an open forum for scholars – both established and emerging – to present new research into an aspect of architectural history and/or Soane’s collection.

William Aslet What ‘Signor Gibbi’ Learnt in Italy: James Gibbs as an Italian-Trained Architect

James Gibbs was the first British architect to have been formally trained in Italy. His tutelage under Carlo Fontana, the successor to Gianlorenzo Bernini as the Pope’s architect, places him alongside the many architects working throughout the élite circles of Europe of his day, who also studied under Fontana. For Gibbs, this Roman training has seen him characterised as the ‘Baroque’ antithesis to the ‘Palladianism’ of Colen Campbell – a fellow Scot from near Aberdeen – and Lord Burlington. However, when we look closely at the environment of Rome in the early eighteenth century and at the training that Fontana offered, we discover that experience of Rome would have provided Gibbs with far more than just a set of Baroque clichés. My focus will, thus, be on what Gibbs learnt in Rome and on the character of his education under Fontana.

William is studying for his PhD at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, with a focus on the life and works of James Gibbs. 

Tuesday 2 April – 6.00pm drinks for 6.30-7.30pm lecture.

To book choose the date (2 April) from the calendar menu before adding the quantity of tickets to the basket.

On arrival please come to No.14 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The door will open at 6.00 pm.


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