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RATIONALISMUL ITALIAN. GIUSEPPE TERRAGNI. Casa Rustici | G. Terragni P. Lingeri | 1937 | Milano. G. Terragni, Danteum. The Danteum is an unbuilt monument to Dante Alighieri designed by the modernist architect Giuseppe Terragni at the behest of Benito Mussolini 's Fascist government.

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rationalismul italian

RATIONALISMUL ITALIAN

GIUSEPPE TERRAGNI

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The Danteum is an unbuilt monument to Dante Alighieri designed by the modernist architect Giuseppe Terragni at the behest of Benito Mussolini's Fascist government.

The structure was meant to be built in Rome on the Via dell'Impero. The intention was to celebrate the famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri, whose Divine Comedy glorifies Imperial Rome and extols the virtues of a strong secular government. Though it was not constructed, the design was presented at the 1942 Exhibition in Rome.

Compositionally, the Danteum is conceived as an allegory of the Divine Comedy. It consists of a sequence of monumental spaces that parallel the narrator's journey from the "dark wood" through hell, purgatory, and paradise. Rather than attempting to illustrate the narrative, however, Terragni focuses on the text's form and rhyme structure, translating them into the language of carefully proportioned spaces and unadorned surfaces typical of Italian Rationalism.

Since the form of the Divine Comedy was itself influenced by the architectural structure of Byzantine churches, the Danteum is in a sense a translation of a translation. Because of the complex of literary, artistic, and architectural meaning associated with the design, the theorist AaratiKanekar regards it as examplary of how a spatial structure can express a sophisticated poetic meaning without an explicit "vocabulary" of architectural symbols.