Study on the Evolution of the Urban Structure of Rome, and the Results of the Architectonic Field During the Pontificates of Leo X, Adrian VI and Clemente VII (1513-1534)

Project location: ITALY, Rome
Project start date: December 2010 - Project end date: November 2013
Project number: 2010-57
Beneficiary: Università di Roma La Sapienza – C.I.T.E.R.A.


The purpose of this project is to study  the evolution of the urban structure of Rome, during the Pontificates of Leo X, Adrian VI and Clemente VII (1513-1534). It entails a research of high scientific value, and at the same time shall provide an  opportunity for on-site experience for young researchers.
During the that which started in 1513 with the election of cardinal Giovanni dè Medici as Leo X and lasted until the death of Clemente VII, in 1534, including the short pontificate of Adrian VI (1522-23), the city of Rome was the subject of many urban and architectural interventions of great value and great importance and impact for subsequent urban developments.
A team will be established that will employ university professors  but also qualified young researchers that have obtained a Phd in disciplines such as History of architecture and History of towns, and that have special expertise in the study of the evolution and history of towns.

This project, which received a grant from the Nando Peretti Foudation, will allow to create a research grant lasting two years.
To carry out its aim, the project will employ the work of experts, such architects, art historians, architectural historians, archivists and historians,  to have a different outlook on the city of Rome.

The project will take place in 2 years, and will be based, in a preliminary phase, on a bibliographic research of the most important sources, considering manuscripts, books and archival papers.

In the meanwhile, an iconographic research, including drawings, paintings, photographs, planimetry, sketching and other kind of graphics rendering. After this preliminary step,  the research project will start, based on roman archives such as the Archivio di Stato di Roma, Archivio Storico Capitolino, Archivio Segreto Vaticano and Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. Other research will be made also outside of Rome, such as  the Archivio di Stato di Firenze. At the same time, the results of archival research will be compared with the new acquisitions, such as those emerging from recent excavations at the Mausoleum of Augustus undertaken by the Municipality of Rome.

The results of the research will be compiled in a publication that could possibly be the starting point of an exhibition, to be implemented in connection with the 5th centenary of the election of Leo X, in 2013.

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