Naples: a great newness. many Scholars of neapolitan Culture like to use this brief sentence in order to describe thir city, which is a vast, intricate wrapping of objects - architectural, artistic and historical - in large part still to be studied and developed.
Travelers arriving to Naples immediately come across an t unique coexistence of ancient and modern, often accompanied by the undeniable traffic congested roads. As soon as one enters the old town, it's easy to understand the ancient history of Naples, which retains the same layout of the streets of the fourth century B. C., and which is now an outdoor museum, with active and alive streets.
The city, in fact, did not have a natural horizontal expansion, but has grown almost on itself, adapting to the morphology of its bay surrounded by hills. This has allowed Naples to preserve all its historical phases through its monuments.
NAPLES: THE ORIGINS.
The first urban settlement dates back to the seventh century B.C., when Greeks from nearby Cuma founded Parthenope on Cape Pizzofalcone (echo's mountains).
Once defeated the fears of ethnic expansion and once the naval battle by Cuma and Syracuse (474 BC), Neapolis was founded in the most downstream to the sea: a new city next to the old Parthenope that later became Palepolis. Surrounded by walls, Neapolis shares with the ancient Greek towns a common strcture: with audiences equally divided by three main parallel streets intersected by several smaller road layout. It's all still visible today.
After the three Samnite Wars, Naples, in 326 BC, gives up to the power of Rome and is able to maintain a certain autonomy. From foederata civitas, in 89 BC, Naples became a Roman town, the destination of patricians and emperors of Neapolis in the airy Horace build large public buildings, such as the temple of Castor, the Macellum (now visible in the ruins of San Lorenzo), the thermal spas (like the one on which arise Santa Clara) and the luxurious villas such as that of Lucullus. The spread of Hellenic-culturagreco continues until the fall of the Roman Empire (476 AD) and the Byzantine conquest (553 AD). While advancing the Lombards in Benevento. Capua and Salerno, Naples began a process of independence from Byzantium and became independent duchy under the leadership of bishops, dukes, developers of many early Christian basilicas.
NAPLES: THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE
In 1030. with the donation of the county of Aversa by the Norman Duke Sergius IV Drengot, began the decline of the Duchy, which definitely falls under the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies Ruggero II d'Altavilla. During the Norman-Swabian monarchy (1139-1266), the city is fortified with new developments such as the Castel Capuano and Castel dell 'Ovo, in 1224 Frederick II founded the Studio there, in opposition to the secular university in Bologna. For monarchs Anjou, in 1266 began a period of urban expansion towards the sea and the slum: it builds the new residence of Castelnuovo, the seats are set up, buildings representing the city, and from the beginning of the great religious buildings. such as the Duomo, San Lorenzo, San Domenico, Santa Chiara and San Martino. During the reigns of Charles II (1285-1309) and Robert of Anjou (1309-1343), Naples became an important center of cultural diffusion and reception, it suffices to note the presence of Simone Martini (1317), Boccaccio (1327-1341) , Giotto (1328-1333) and Petrarch (1341).
After the dynasty of Anjou-Durazzo and tumultuous, bloody events of Queen Joan II (1414-1435), Alfonso the Magnanimous in 1443 entered the city in triumph, giving rise to the kingdom of Aragon, which included Sicily, Catalonia, Valencia and Mallorca. It starts here "Renaissance" Neapolitan culture which has its epicenter in the city but that incorporates input from all over the Mediterranean. The monument representative of this period is certainly the marble Arch of Castelnuovo, and many other testimonies are irretrievably lost, as the villa of Poggioreale built by Giuliano da Majano. It is a happy moment for the culture and the arts, is favored by the development of local crafts guilds, and the arrival of so many workers "foreign." The work of Colantonio, master Antonello da Messina, testifies to the spread of the Burgundian and Flemish paintings, created by Jan van Eyck and stay Barthélemy d'Eyck (1438-1442).
The Spanish vicereign
The independence of the kingdom ends with the arrival in Italy of Ferdinand the Catholic. The Spanish troops of General Gonzalo Cordoba conquered Naples in 1503 and from this point on, for two centuries, will rule the Spanish viceroyalty. With ups and downs and a succession of many viceroys appointed by Madrid, Naples through hard times but of profound transformation takes shape the city begins to resemble the present one. Interventions (implemented only in bread to projects) of Viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo (1532-1553) focus on the enlargement of the city walls and urban regeneration, in response to the demographic phenomenon of congestion already present at the time. Naples, in fact, in the early seventeenth century comes to be the most populous city in Europe after Paris. The vice-regal patronage was added to the new religious orders, of Teather and the Jesuits, in addition to the Conventual Friars (Franciscans, Dominicans, Carthusians).
At the end of the sixteenth century, in fact, there is a huge building development: buildings, especially churches and monasteries are multiplying and expanding: the huge development of charitable and welfare activities, with the birth of numerous confraternities, congregations and schools of piety contribute to this phenomenon that tends to build up any possible space inside the walls. If this congestion building can be humiliating for the city, much to pass on the consequences to this day, the result is also a hive of endless commissions, arts, artifacts of art, religious architecture and civilians from many different styles. Just think about the description of the Sacra di Napoli Cesare d'Eugenie (1623) with more than three hundred churches in the city. It is the golden age of Neapolitan Baroque, just preceded by the presence of Caravaggio, which distorts the century Neapolitan painting. The eruption of Vesuvius (1631), the popular revolt against the taxes of Masaniello (1647) and the devastating plague of 1656 are the scenarios of the formidable nature of the Caravaggio painting (Batts, Stanzione, Ribera, Vaccaro) and decoration, and bizarre imaginative, Cosimo Fanzago, with its polychrome marble inlay covers almost every major city churches.
The Bourbon dynasty IN NAPLES
Throughout the eighteenth century, began with the domination of the Habsburg Empire from 1707 to 1734 viceroyalty, and continued with the arrival of the Bourbons, Naples experiences a particularly happy moment for the embellishment of many mansions. Charles of Bourbon (from 1734), although in the absence of a comprehensive renovation project of the city, began a series of civil actions: expansion with new decorations of the Palazzo Reale, the foundation of the Teatro San Carlo and new straps Capodimonte, Portici and Caserta, and the ambitious project entrusted to Ferdinando Fuga (1751) of a large building for charitable purposes, the Hotel of the Poor. Charles of Bourbon leave the regency of Naples in 1759 to become the King of Spain, and entrusted the kingdom to Ferdinand small only eight years. In the second half of the century, continuing construction has already started and the aristocracy, on emulation of the Bourbon court, is promoting, new villas and Posillipo Chiaia, those decorative arts from the refined taste and exacting: Francesco Solimena (1657-1747 ) and Francesco De Mura (1694-1782), the painters most requested by the client, are surrounded by a large group of artisans of the "royal manufactories, such as those of porcelain, tapestries, precious stones, silks and Disan Leucio infant crib art.
The Bourbon dynasty was interrupted by short Neapolitan Republic (1799) and the French decade (1806-1815), moments that leave indelible marks on the culture and science (such as the foundation dell'Orto Botanico), the development of the arts, the creation of new urban roads (such as those at Posillipo and Capodimonte). The phenomenon of the Grand Tour, a generic term for the training trip made by aristocrats and wealthy bourgeois foreigners in Italy, Naples has a preferred destination, thanks to the curiosity aroused by the archaeological discoveries at Herculaneum (1738) and Pompeii (1748) : the travel diary of Goethe and Stendhal, Pythian's plans (which most will not leave the city and will start the Posillipo school), stay at the Romantic painters CamilleCorot and William Turner are just a quick mention of the great cultural movement that affect the production of craftsmen and artisans. After the subjects practiced much of the local landscape, the different interpretations of the School of Posillipo (Giacinto Gigante and the Palisades in the head) and Resin (with Marco and Giuseppe de Gregorio de Nittis), from the years 1860-1880 will open the way for pictorial realism of Domenico Morelli, Gioacchino Toma and Teofilo Patini whose favorite reasons are social commentary and references to history, literature and theater.
Meanwhile, in 1860, from the balcony of Palazzo Dona vanvitelliano of Angri, Garibaldi proclaimed the annexation of the southern provinces of the Kingdom of Savoy. At the end of the nineteenth century many of the projects are implemented in part recovered from earlier ideas. Following the outbreaks of cholera (1837, 1854. 1884) "Plan of Rehabilitation" decided to gut some neighborhoods in an attempt to reclaim the "belly of Naples through the creation of wide roads, and after years of planning (1889-1894 ), opposed by the intelligentsia of the time who opposed the indiscriminate slaughter, we realized, among other measures, the "Rettifilo" (Corso Umberto I), a major link road between the station and the Stock Exchange building, with the sacrifice of many ancient structures, including churches and warehouses.
NAPLES: THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
After many speeches, "Modernists" and representative of the policy of the thirties and forties of the twentieth century, such as the Maritime Station and the Mostra d'Oltremare the Post Office building, Naples suffers heavy losses by bombing aircraft from 1940 to 1943, after the war , all'affrettata reconstruction of the city, fell into the mire of business speculation, will be followed by the 1980 earthquake that rages once more on the monuments.
The architecture and urbanism in the second half of the twentieth century, with the lack of implementation of plans, certainly leaves serious inconsistencies in the city. This is not the case for the arts or expressive, very active since the beginning of the century: from 1909 created the first movement against the academic art as the "secession of the twenty-three", inspired by groups in Vienna and Monaco, and the subsequent avant-garde such as the South Group (1946), the MAC (Concrete Art Movement, 1950), the Group 58 and the new trends in informal generate a lot of creative experimentation all share the need to update the discussion of art in the modern international language. This renewal will feed into the opening of large spaces devoted to contemporary art museum in order to make known to a wider audience the current artistic tendencies: the Gallery of Fine Arts, founded in the eighteenth century, where in addition to rooms dedicated to 'Ancient Art and the nineteenth century, large space is devoted to the twentieth century, and the foundation of the contemporary arts centers equipped as the Pan (Palazzo delle Arti di Napoli) and the Museo Madre.