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Izvorni znanstveni članak


Goran Nikšić

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 14.331 Kb

str. 445-469

preuzimanja: 350


Puni tekst: engleski pdf 14.331 Kb

str. 470-471

preuzimanja: 310



The complex of the Arneri palace in Korčula was agglomerated through buying and marriage during several centuries. It composes a whole block extending from the western edge of the town to the main town square. The east facade of the complex was modified because of the regulation of the square. The small building in the north-east corner of the complex recieved its new facade in the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century. Its designer faced the difficult task of creating a •rich facade within a very narrow space. The facade has the form of a double square and is sudbivided into rectangles of, or derived from, the golden section. The use of the Classical method of proportioning in a new way gave a very complex system of interdependent geometrical forms. That, as well as the whole compositional procedure that becomes clear after a thorough formal analysis, points to a Mannerist way of thinking. The architect very well understood the Classical principles of composition, but he very consciously and systematically avoided them: the openings are not set on the same vertical axes; on the ground floor the smallest window is placed in the middle, where one could expect to find the main portal. The formal integrity of the architectural elements is consciously violated: window and door lintels on the ground floor are fused into a unified cornice just like the window sills on the middle storey. The monolithic stone jamb between the right doo1• and the window on the ground floor is particularly interesting: its entire upper half and the right half of its lower part are moulded so that it functions at the same time as a window and a door jamb. We have seen that the difficulties presented by the unusual conditions at the site were put to use in carrying out the architectural conception which we designate as Mannerist. It even seems that this way of thinking requires external factors that would »justify« the illogicalities (in a classical sense) of such a »negative» design process which we could term the principle of compensation. Because of a clear and conscious stepping aside from a “Classical” approach this principle represents a Mannerist stylistic quality. In the composition of the facade this principle has been carried out in several ways. The static quality of the basic double-square shape is compensated for by a very complicated subdivision system consisting of a series of very dynamic and interdependent rectangles of the golden section family. Apart from the above mentioned avoiding of composition axes, to diminish the negative effect of the upward movement the architect has also used pronounced horizontal elements : prominent cornices, a balcony running the whole width of the facade and a solid horizontal wall surface. The distance between the cornices does not correspond to the interior storey height, but is exclusively dependent on the geometrical and proportional system, i. e. one completely visual conception of the facade. In the “Classical« design system usually the number (or the size) of the openings increases going from the ground floor to upper storeys. For the design of our facade the procedure was just reverse; “the visual weight« (the ratio between the size of solid and hollow surfaces) increases with height, just like “the visual density« (the ratio between moulded and smooth surfaces). All these analyses point to a true Mannerist architect. A question naturally arises: who could have ordered such a design, and especially which de-signer could have so boldly opposed the traditional architectural procedures in such a very conservative provincial milieu? Did a foreigner display the up- to-date European artistic principles to the Korčulans, right on their main town square, or perhaps a native master wanted to show off what he had learned abroad? In the course of the rehabilitation of this small Arneri palace it will be necessary to re-establish the integrity of its stylistically consistent, visually and proportionally refined facade. The original conception of the unity of the metrological, proportional and stylistic systems has to be respected, The upper contour should be closed by a stone cornice-gutter. Especially important will be the restauration of the balcony because of its essential role in the facade's complex system of geometrical, proportional, psychological (visual-perceptive) and functional values. We hope that the forthcoming reconstruction will bring back dignity to this architecture, which it really deserves by its artistic value and by the importance of the site.

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