Twelve A Nineteenth-Century Monument for the State

Robin B. Williams

In the late nineteenth century, the Pantheon became hostage to an ideological battle over the city of Rome fought between factions of the Italian government and religious leaders from the Vatican. At stake were the function and identity of the venerable temple. This confrontation grew out of the larger drama of the Risorgimento, the Italian unification movement that began under Napoleon, who briefly united the Italian peninsula under his rule and instigated a burgeoning of nationalistic sentiment.

In the aftermath of Napoleon’s defeat in 1815, the peninsula was carved up into numerous small kingdoms and duchies. At first, patriots, notably Giuseppe Mazzini, who founded the revolutionary “Young Italy” political society while in exile in Marseille in 1831, and the military hero Giuseppe Garibaldi sought the creation of an Italian republic. They achieved partial success by capturing Rome in 1849 and proclaiming the Roman Republic. Within six months, however, the French army quashed the uprising, drove Mazzini and Garibaldi back into exile, and restored Pope Pius IX to power. After several false starts in different corners of the peninsula throughout the 1850s, the king of Piedmont-Sardinia, Vittorio Emanuele II of the House of Savoy, and notably his prime minister, Camillo Cavour, spearheaded a successful unification campaign from the north beginning in 1860. To the south, Garibaldi and his famous “thousand” men captured the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, which they turned over to Vittorio Emanuele. The only notable Italian region outside of his control was the Papal States, which spanned the center of the peninsula. In March 1861, Italy was formally established as a constitutional monarchy with its capital first at Turin; in 1865, the capital was transferred to Florence, a more central location. Fierce regionalism, however, threatened to undermine the unification movement unless the only mutually acceptable capital city could be secured – Rome.

The capture of Rome in 1870 presented Italian leaders with the challenge of transforming the capital of Catholicism into the secular capital of their newly unified nation. During the first six years of “Roma Capitale,” a coalition of conservatives (the Destra), eager to mend relations with the Vatican, controlled the Italian government. Their policy of appeasement came to an end in 1876, when parliament fell under the control of the left (the Sinistra) led by anticlerics, who would retain power for the next 25 years – a remarkable duration by Italian standards. For Sinistra leaders, Roman antiquities provided a tangible link to the imperial glory they wished to emulate and a means of superseding church authority. The Pantheon played a decisive role within the larger story of Italy’s creation of a national identity in Rome that culminated in the Victor Emanuel Monument, the enormous white marble pile that dominates the north slope of the Capitoline Hill in the center of Rome. The patriotic enterprise profoundly affected the Pantheon itself: we owe to this period some dedicated campaigns of restoration and isolation of the ancient edifice, creating its present-day appearance; the preservation of its function as a church; and the presence of the two royal tombs that dominate the cross axes of the interior.

From the outset of the Risorgimento in the early nineteenth century, most patriots recognized Rome as the only legitimate capital city acceptable to the new country’s diverse regions. While the victory of Italian troops in September 1870 brought an end to papal rule over Rome, Italian leaders confronted a city whose buildings and monuments readily testified to many centuries of ecclesiastical dominion. One contemporary observer, the German historian Ferdinand Gregorovius, commented that “at every step one sees nothing but memories and monuments of the popes: churches, convents, museums, fountains, palaces, obelisks with crosses, the imperial columns with Saints Peter and Paul on their summits, thousands of tombs of bishops and priests, an atmosphere saturated with the spirit of the ruin, of the catacomb and of religion.... All of Rome is like a monument of the Church in all its epochs, from Nero and Constantine down to Pius IX.”1 The Pantheon, the best-preserved vestige of Roman antiquity in the city, epitomized the continuity of the city’s life and power from antiquity to the present. Having been, in the seventh century, one of the first of many ancient Roman structures converted to Christian use, it had served as a Catholic church almost three times longer than it had as a pagan temple. This dual significance of the Pantheon, whose history reflected that of the city, inspired French engravers Philippe and Félix Benoist to place it prominently between images of ancient and papal Rome in their capriccio for the book Rome dans sa grandeur of 1870 (Fig. 12.1).


12.1. Capriccio of ancient and papal Romes, by Philippe and Felix Benoist, with the Pantheon at center. (Champagny, Rome dans sa grandeur, 1870, frontispiece)

Veneration of ancient Rome was a compelling force throughout the period of unification. It served what one observer called “the sacred flame that alone across many centuries kept the feeling of Italian nationality alive.”2 After 1876, Sinistra leaders exploited this cult of antiquity to fashion a powerful state image. Whereas other nations could only allude to the trappings of the imperial Roman style in architecture, Italians had the inestimable advantage of being able to take possession of genuine antiquities. For the burgeoning secular and scientific culture of nineteenth-century Europe, the monuments of ancient Rome bore the sanctity of Christian relics and the venerable attributes of power. Infused with such potent associations, these monuments became the focus of impassioned disputes among the state, municipal, and religious authorities for matters of custodial responsibility. Michele Coppino, the minister of public instruction in the late 1870s, illustrated the broadly held belief among his national government colleagues when he noted to city officials that “the majesty of [ancient] monuments is always a testimony of the glory of the secular world. [Rome] belongs to the entire nation, which demands of His Majesty’s government the strictest guardianship of monuments that are for the fatherland the most glorious heritage.”3 The primacy of Roman antiquities as secular symbols divorced from their ecclesiastical importance reflected a change of perspective that would stir intense controversy over the Pantheon.

Italian leaders faced a unique problem in their new capital – the continued presence of a rival head of state in Pope Pius IX, whose assertions of sovereignty challenged Italian claims to the possession of Rome. Both the Destra and the Sinistra recognized that Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s first king,4 could alone offset the prestige commanded by the pope. Although the Risorgimento had produced other heroes, only the king represented both an appealing political position and an image of permanence: Mazzini, the earliest leader of the Risorgimento, and General Garibaldi were both republicans – a political orientation deemed too radical by most Italian leaders; and Cavour, Italy’s first prime minister, occupied an office already synonymous with transience in Italy.5 Prior to 1876, Destra leaders had demanded that Vittorio Emanuele be present in the capital to secure Italian control of the city, but without displays of patriotism that might jeapordize a peace settlement with the Vatican. They wanted the physical presence of a “citizen king and not some Roman conqueror.”6 Despite Italian government efforts to downplay its victory, Pius IX excommunicated Vittorio Emanuele from the Roman Catholic faith in response to the entry of the Italian army into Rome. The Sinistra, by contrast, would exploit and mythologize the royal office as its most powerful propaganda weapon against the papacy. The unexpected death of Vittorio Emanuele II on January 9, 1878, presented the Sinistra government with its first prominent opportunity to become involved in the transformation of Rome and, in the process, create a vivid state image – one that was nationalistic, grandiose, and, above all, secular. Immediate calls for a national monument to the king in the capital ensured government intervention in the city’s urban affairs,progressively extending to archaeology, street planning, new public buildings, other civic monuments, and the king’s tomb in the Pantheon.

As with all urban projects in Rome sponsored by the anticlerical government, the theme of permanence – reflecting the political aspiration to possess Rome – played a major role in the definition of the king’s posthumous image. The concern of Sinistra leaders for permanence dictated that greater emphasis be given to the royal office than to Vittorio Emanuele as an individual. This distinction reflected a long tradition that Ernst Kantorowicz labeled “the King’s Two Bodies.”7 According to this tenet, rooted in medieval political theology, the person and the office of the king were separate entities, the former mortal, the latter immortal. For Sinistra leaders, the Majesty of God was secularized into the Majesty of Statehood, but otherwise they conformed to the pattern and its emphasis on outward imagery for the masses. When the Royal House of Savoy organized the lying-in-state of the monarch’s corpse in the Sala degli Svizzeri in the Quirinal Palace, they set Vittorio Emanuele in an upright position, signifying the survival and continuity of the royal office beyond the death of the individual king. Ultimately, the enormous Victor Emanuel Monument on the Capitoline Hill celebrated the “immortal” and secular body of the royal office, while the Pantheon remained a sepulcher for the mortal, physical body of Vittorio Emanuele.

Francesco Lattari, the author of a book on Savoy monuments in Rome published in May 1879, provided a detailed explanation of the difference between the two types of monuments and their relative significance. His discussion offers the most explicit contemporary confirmation of an awareness and exploitation of the two-bodies tradition. In a revealing passage, he summarizes how

civil monuments erected to illustrious men are tributes of gratitude and of admiration to their moral persons, they are works intended to celebrate, in a manner independent of their corporeal relics, the accomplishments and glories acquired in the social arena. Sepulchral monuments are attestations of affection and respect to the remains of dear persons, and although some of them might have had or can have simultaneously the same purpose of civil monuments, only for really great men in the advancement of civilization is it deemed to be a more splendid and significant thing to separate the homages to the remains from those to the historic personages. The first monuments are homages to the noble works accomplished by illustrious men, to the ideas that they represent.... The second, by contrast, being homages to the mortal remains of the esteemed, are circumscribed by the just mentioned connections and by religious considerations, which since most ancient times, and especially since the institution of Christianity, are associated with sepulchres.8

Lattari’s observations about the inherently Christian character of sepulchers help account for the slowness with which anticlerical Sinistra leaders would address the issue of the permanent royal tomb. Meanwhile, the news of the king’s death stirred a public debate over the location of his tomb. For patriotic reasons, politicians and popular sentiment agreed that Vittorio Emanuele should remain in Rome, rather than be returned to his native city of Turin, the traditional seat of the House of Savoy, for burial in the Superga, the family mausoleum. The new king, Umberto I, agreed on the condition that his father be buried in a place of Catholic worship.9 This ruled out proposals by some antiquarian enthusiasts to locate the royal sepulcher on the Palatine Hill or the Capitoline Hill.10 While the Vatican did not oppose the king’s burial in a church in Rome, it did prohibit consideration of a location in any of the patriarchal basilicas, namely, the great churches founded by Constantine.11 Responsibility for selecting a site for the king’s tomb fell to Interior Minister Francesco Crispi, one of the more radical anticlerical members of the Sinistra government. He conformed to the restrictions set out by both King Umberto and the pope, yet satisfied his own government’s interest in using the symbolic values of antiquity by choosing the Pantheon as the king’s resting place.12

Part of the appeal of this site stemmed, no doubt, from the term “pantheon” itself, which had by the nineteenth century acquired the secular and nationalistic connotation of a place where a country celebrates and immortalizes its martyrs and great citizens.13This tradition goes back to the Christianization of the Pantheon and its rededication to the unnamed martyrs entombed there. Throughout the Renaissance, this tradition embraced famous artists and came to be extended to rulers, as in the royal crypt of the Escorial in Spain, and heroes, as was the case with the church of Ste. Geneviève in Paris, which was renamed Le Panthéon, deconsecrated, and converted in the 1790s into a shrine to the French Revolution. Although some shrines to national heroes go by other names, such as the Walhalla (built 1830–1842) in Germany by the architect Leo von Klenze, “pantheon” was the term most widely employed in the nineteenth century. In the United States, the final but unexecuted design for the Washington Monument of 1845 by Robert Mills included a rotunda 250 feet in diameter at its base that he called the “Pantheon,” where niches inside would house statues of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and Revolutionary War heroes.14 The pedimented portico attached to the western side of the ring of 30 Doric columns (one for each state in the union at the time) made the connection to the Roman Pantheon even stronger. During the Risorgimento, Italians likewise embraced the patriotic pantheon concept, as in the proposal of 1862 for a “Historic-Political-Artistic Italian National Pantheon” for Turin, and a “Pantheon of Illustrious Men,” a fireworks machine for celebrating Italy’s constitution day festival in Rome in 1872.15

Interior Minister Crispi intended more than mere patriotic commemoration when he selected the Pantheon as the site of the royal tomb. Crispi hoped to augment the legitimacy and permanence of the nascent royal office. As he later declared to parliament, “the throne [of Italy], like the state, must be firm and appear as such, [since] the stability of institutions is revealed to the people by the stability of [their] monuments.”16 Better than any other site in the city, the Pantheon allowed him to align the Italian royal house with the emperors of ancient Rome, particularly the Julian emperors, for whom the Pantheon served as a dynastic sanctuary.17 In addition to a venerable foundation under Augustus by his first consul, Agrippa, the building possessed the round shape of an imperial mausoleum, like the tombs of Augustus and Hadrian nearby. One contemporary observer recognized the equation, noting that the Roman Pantheon, “which Agrippa magnificently erected in homage to all the gods, we Italians today regard as sacred to another immortal: to our liberator.”18

The “official funeral” for Vittorio Emanuele, probably organized by the royal house, occurred on January 17, 1878, and was ostensibly a religious service involving the solemn entombment of the king within a provisional resting place inside the Pantheon.19The interior decoration of the Pantheon employed a large catafalque, adorned by no fewer than 12 candelabras supporting a myriad of candles and guarded by statues of eight imperial lions (Fig. 12.2). Overhead, long strips of velvet, draped from the oculus and secured at the base of dome, formed an enormous canopy. The king’s body was placed atop the catafalque, before being entombed within a provisional “royal chapel” to the right of the high altar – a site chosen by the Reverend Valerio Anzino, the king’s chaplain,on orders from Crispi.20 All of the major European nations had representatives in attendance. Italy’s allies sent the most guests of note, including Maria Pia, the queen of Portugal; Prince Ranieri, the archduke of Austria; Prince Wilhelm of Baden; and Friedrich Wilhelm, the imperial prince of Germany.21


12.2. View of the official funeral of Vittorio Emanuele II in the Pantheon showing the catafalque and temporary decorations, January 17, 1878; engraving by Dante Paolocci. (L’Illustrazione Italiana, February 3, 1878, p. 68)

The solemnity and grandeur of the ceremonies and the international participation impressed the Romans, who had previously viewed with suspicion the function of Rome as a national capital.22 The funeral profoundly affected the popular view of the royal family and the king. The newspaper L’Illustrazione Italiana reported that the widespread sympathy and patriotism “for the monarchy in our country was practically a revelation. Not only the upper classes, but the middle and lowest classes were moved with such spontaneity and vivacity, from one end of the peninsula to the other, that the ... event became a political event, showing the solidity of the unity of the Italian monarchy. The patriotism won over the republicans and the clericals, save a few and isolatedexceptions.”23This “revelation” reflected the sudden and impressive augmentation of Vittorio Emanuele’s reputation in death. For the first time, the king became unquestionably the most potent symbol of Italian unity.

The state exequies, the government’s official homage to the deceased monarch, occurred a month later on February 16, 1878, and gave further visual expression to this secular royal cult.24 Michele Coppino, the minister of public instruction, appointed a committee, composed mainly of professors from the Instituto di Belle Arti in Rome, led by architect Luigi Rosso, to design the elaborate decorative program.25 Within a month, Rosso’s team had adorned the Pantheon with antique regalia that reinforced the burgeoning emblematic power of the king and his office (Fig. 12.3). Their work effectively “restored” the temple to its presumed ancient state, resembling contemporary reconstructions of the building’s original appearance. The decorative program fully exploited the symbolic associations of the Pantheon with fame and immortality, as well as its connection to ancient emperors. The tympanum scene, painted by Domenico Bruschi in tempera in imitation of gilt bronze relief, depicted the apotheosis of the royal House of Savoy.26 It included a winged “angel of the resurrection” sitting atop an “adorned sarcophagus”; below it appeared a crown, scepter, and mantle symbolizing kingship, while to either side personifications of prominent Italian cities pressed toward the center with votive offerings.27 Above the pediment stood a Roman imperial eagle flanked, at the ends, by allegories of Fame. The two niches of the porch accommodated large, smoking tripods – an ancient symbol of the fusing of divine and heroic.28 Dynastic imagery continued in the porch, where oval shields of eight counts, dukes, and kings of the House of Savoy adorned the columns. Covering the faint traces of the Agrippan dedication, the temporary new frieze inscription equated Italy’s first king with the first emperor of Rome: “Padre della Patria” was a direct translation of “Pater Patriae,” the epithet of Augustus.29


12.3. Exterior of the Pantheon decorated by Luigi Rosso et al. for the state exequies of Vittorio Emanuele II, February 16, 1878. (Negro 1956, p. 149, Plate 166)

The equally fantastic interior decorations continued the imperial iconography and further disguised the ecclesiastical purpose of the building (Fig. 12.4). An enormous catafalque occupied the center, with reposing lions anchoring its corners and Savoy eagles on each side representing the king’s imperial power. Allegories of his personal attributes flanked the draped cenotaph, which was topped by Savoy crests alternating with Victor Emanuel’s monogram. Covering the oculus overhead, the enormous “Star of Italy” took its place at the center of 140 gas-lit stars that filled the coffers of the dome.30 The state exequies provided the first elaborate manifestation of the aggrandizement of the royal office, initiating the highly propagandistic symbolism of the state in the king’s image that culminated with the more prominent Victor Emanuel Monument on the Capitoline. The abundant use of the star motif in the coffers and around the oculus recalled a grandiose scheme for similar personal imagery, under Alexander VII in the 1660s, recorded in drawings for the Pantheon.31


12.4. Interior of the Pantheon decorated by Luigi Rosso et al. for the state exequies of Vittorio Emanuele II, February 16, 1878; engraving by Dante Paolocci. (L’Illustrazione Italiana, March 3, 1878, p. 148)

The presence of the king’s tomb transformed the public identity of the Pantheon and gave greater prominence to the issue of who controlled the city’s heritage. Having served for more than 1,200 years as a Christian church, it quickly became a national shrine with political associations. While the arrival of the king’s remains decisively resolved the long-standing dispute between the Ministry of Public Instruction and the city, with the mayor of Rome ceding to the state responsibility for any restoration work at the temple,32 a volatile discussion over custody ensued between the Italian government and the Vatican. The Ministry of Public Instruction controlled antiquities as part of the national heritage; however, churches were exempt from state secularization laws. Such architectural hybrids, having both ancient and ecclesiastical importance, presented a special problem of jurisdiction. The entombment of the king in the Pantheon gave Italian leaders an opportunity to seize at least partial control of its interior.

The canons of the church of S. Maria ad martyres resented the imposition on their space caused by the presence of the temporary royal tomb to the right of the high altar. Carmine Gori, the archpriest of their chapter, reminded Giuseppe Fiorelli, the general director of antiquities in the Ministry of Public Instruction, that Benedict XIV’s bull of February 18, 1757, had given the Prefecture of the SS. Palazzi Apostolici custody of the whole Pantheon, without distinguishing between interior and exterior jurisdiction; and he added that his chapter did not recognize any other authority or law.33 Gori also complained vociferously about the many wreaths deposited around the king’s temporary tomb, charging that they “disfigure the appearance of the building and of a place considered sacred by the faithful.”34 He requested the removal of the wreaths and of the veterans’ guards protecting the tomb because of their propensity to occupy what he called the Sancta Sanctorum, presumably the altar area, even during masses. Fiorelli responded that the papal bulls had been nullified by the termination of papal temporal power, and he ordered the Pantheon chapter to desist.35

The “restoration” effected by the temporary decorations for the state exequies conformed to a widespread desire to restore the Pantheon to its ancient state, a restoration that could be achieved only at the expense of its ecclesiastical character. As soon as the government decided in April 1881 to keep the royal tomb permanently in the Pantheon, Guido Baccelli, who had taken over the Ministry of Public Instruction five months earlier, led a campaign to restore the building’s exterior to its presumed “original” state. A radical anticlerical member and a leading enthusiast of ancient sites in the ruling Sinistra, Baccelli advocated the removal of all of the supposedly valueless postantique additions to the Pantheon in order to reveal its distinctive mausoleum-like rotunda. As part of his plans, he hoped to create a large piazza around the temple and call it the “Forum of Vittorio Emanuele.”36 The intended effect was illustrated by a similar project submitted by Pietro Comparini (1833–1882) to the first competition for the Victor Emanuel Monument in 1880 (see Fig. 1.24).37 Baccelli was not the first to have expressed such wishes. In 1810, Pietro Piranesi, son of the famous engraver, anticipated the minister’s own rhetoric:

the ancient monuments [of Rome] are suffocated by miserable modern buildings which must disappear. The Pantheon, one of the most precious and better preserved monuments of antiquity, requires a grand piazza freeing it of adjacent buildings. To embellish Rome, one must destroy more than build.38

The Roman architect Giuseppe Valadier expressed the same idea on paper in 1813, with a plan showing an isolated Pantheon set within a larger and regularized piazza.39 In November 1870, just two months after the Italian capture of Rome, architecture critic Achille Monti called for the complete removal of all later additions to the monument, including the bell towers.40 The city incorporated these recommendations into the master plan of Rome of 1873, but financial difficulties, followed by a political dispute with the Ministry of Public Instruction over control of the ancient structure, forced the city to abandon its plans.41

Minister Baccelli’s restoration technique of isolating and thus monumentalizing the city’s antiquities conformed to the ideals of the French restoration theorist Rigaud de l’Isle, whose “theory of the two cities” demanded that ancient monuments be materially liberated from the living urban tissue down to the ancient soil.42 Contemporary critic Giambattista Demora advocated the same approach, calling on the government to isolate ancient buildings as much as possible in order to render them “inviolate and unhurt,” to demolish surrounding buildings of “minimal value,” and to keep uncovered and open the most noble parts of ancient Rome.43 The explicit historical discontinuity manifested by the French polemic must have greatly appealed to Baccelli, who wanted to erase the intervening Christian history of the Pantheon.

The physical isolation of the monument carried out by his Ministry of Public Instruction also illustrated an affinity for the ideals of Camillo Boito, Italy’s leading restoration theorist in the second half of the nineteenth century and a member of numerous government building committees in Rome.44While Boito condoned the removal of accretions that distorted the legibility of a structure, he opposed their replacement with reconstructions of a supposed original appearance. In May 1881, Baccelli received official authorization to expropriate the seventeenth-century Palazzo Bianchi, one of the buildings attached to the rear of the Pantheon, despite opposition from the state treasury, which had objected to the enormous cost – 415,000 lire.45 The minister initiated the demolitions himself, taking the first swing of the pick on July 7, 1881,46 in the same way Benito Mussolini would do with great fanfare to uncover Trajan’s Markets in the 1930s. Baccelli’s ambition to uncover the girth of the Pantheon in its entirety had to be abandoned when the demolition of the Palazzo Bianchi between July 1881 and March 1882 revealed the attached but deteriorated remains of what were identified at the time as the Baths of Agrippa47 (but now identified as the Basilica of Neptune), which were conserved with only minor restoration work to ensure their stability.

Beyond scientific and aesthetic reasons for the isolation, Baccelli informed the Italian parliament that he also had political motives: revealing its round shape would stress the new function of the building as an imperial mausoleum.48 The king’s chaplain, the Reverend Valerio Anzino, complained to Prime Minister Agostino Depretis that the “isolation work has deprived the priests of their Sacristy, of the Chapter Hall, and all those accessories that are indispensable to the service of a notable church like the Pantheon, such as the living quarters of the Sacristans, the storage areas for church supplies, [and] the archives.”49 In April 1883, the public instruction minister further diminished the ecclesiastical appearance of the building by demolishing the two bell towers commissioned by Pope Urban VIII in 1626 (Figs. 1.22, 1.23). The work received front-page coverage in the press – as well as much public praise, including two proposals to erect a large plaque commemorating Baccelli’s isolation of the building.50 The critic Costantino Maes hailed Baccelli as “the most sparkling personification of the Roman Genius.”51 Naturally, the Vatican took a dimmer view, with one cardinal calling him “a meathead of a minister.”52

The isolation of the Pantheon removed all signs of Christian significance from the exterior of the building. A complementary profanization of the interior was initiated with the state exequies of 1878. Commemorations held in the king’s memory every subsequent January on the anniversary his death, involving the erection of a large catafalque at the center, became an important event in the official state calendar. Vittorio Emanuele rapidly emerged as the principal object of veneration in a budding secular and highly patriotic “religion of the fatherland”:53 his remains were treated like precious relics to which pilgrimages were made. As with ancient emperors, the king provided the most tangible symbol of the state. Popular epithets applied to Vittorio Emanuele perpetuated his mythologization, such as the “First soldier of the Independence of Italy”;54 the “Great King, founder of the Unity of Italy”;55 the “First Italian citizen”;56 the “Redeemer of the Fatherland”;57 the “Liberator of the Fatherland”;58 and, most frequent of all, the Padre della Patria (“Father of the Fatherland”), the conscious equivalent of the ancient title Pater Patriae accorded to the “good” emperors.

The first anniversary commemoration of Vittorio Emanuele’s death saw the erection of an impressive temporary catafalque designed by the architect Giuseppe Massuero (Fig. 12.5).59 The structure took the form of a tall baldachin, one of the most widely recognized symbols of imperial power since late antiquity.60 Massuero stressed its identification with imperial antiquity by placing four large smoking tripods at the splayed corners of the podium and no fewer than 20 tripods along the attic between imperial eagles at the corners. Under the canopy, an altar supported a cushion on which rested a royal crown. The lone Christian reference appeared in the crucifix held by the figure at the summit. The annual event reused Massuero’s temporary structure, perpetuating the memory of the king and reinforcing his association with ancient emperors. Alessandro Guiccioli, a member of the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house in the Italian parliament), attested to the predominantly secular character of the 1881 commemoration, recording in his diary that “the ceremony was rather arid; the official personages showed off their irreligiosity; all this chills and annoys; it was a civil celebration and not religious.”61 From 1879 to 1884, this annual public ritual offered the capital the most conspicuous display of state imagery, reminding the populace of Rome and any foreign visitors of the imperial stature of the Italian royal house and of the state.


12.5. First anniversary funeral commemoration for Vittorio Emanuele II in the Pantheon, with a catafalque designed by Giuseppe Massuero, January 15, 1879. (L’Illustrazione Italiana, January 26, 1879, p. 57)

The progressive mythologizing of Vittorio Emanuele’s reputation to signify the notion of Italian unity intensified during the annual commemorations of the king’s death in 1883 and 1884. The fifth anniversary observance in 1883 diverged from previous years by including a national pilgrimage. Besides paying homage to the king in the Pantheon, where wreaths were deposited, pilgrims also visited the Capitoline Hill, where the king had first addressed the city in 1870. Within a few months of this event, private organizations around Italy began planning an even grander national pilgrimage to the royal tomb for January 1884.62 The event had the objective of affirming the “Unity of the Fatherland” by honoring its founder, Vittorio Emanuele, together with the “four makers” of national unity – King Carlo Alberto (Vittorio Emanuele’s father), Cavour, Mazzini, and Garibaldi.63 Predictably, the government took over control of the event and removed the homages to the other four in order to avoid weakening the centrality of Vittorio Emanuele.64 The national pilgrimage attracted a large number of participants: 68,635 pilgrims, almost half of whom belonged to 2,061 patriotic associations, as well as 666 representatives from Italian colonies abroad.65 The press devoted considerable attention to the weeklong event and illustrations testified to the enormous attendance. Public Instruction Minister Baccelli used the occasion to display a full-scale model of the permanent tomb for the king that he was at that time promoting in place of Massuero’s catafalque (Fig. 12.6).


12.6. Views of the 1884 national pilgrimage to the tomb of Vittorio Emanuele II, seen (clockwise from upper left) in the Piazza Barberini, behind S. Maria Maggiore, at the Pantheon, at Termini train station, and in Piazza del Popolo. (L’Illustrazione Italiana, January 27, 1884, p. 53)

The patriotic fervor for the royal cult displayed in the national pilgrimages ensured the permanent tomb for Vittorio Emanuele a place of great symbolic importance in the capital. Yet the Sinistra government had done little to facilitate its completion for several years after the king’s death, presumably due to the inherently Christian character of sepulchers. Public impatience for a suitable permanent tomb stirred the journalist Ugo Pesci in January 1882 to criticize the government for spending 500,000 lire on the expropriation of one house on the exterior of the Pantheon and to suggest that that sum could have paid for a great porphyry urn in the center of the temple.66 Significantly, he saw the tomb as a key symbol of Italy’s permanent possession of Rome and thus encouraged its rapid completion “so that all the foreigners will see that even in death Vittorio Emanuele affirms the conviction of wanting to remain in Rome.”67

Responsibility for the permanent tomb initially belonged to the Royal House of Savoy. After several unsuccessful attempts to stir government interest, the Reverend Anzino, the king’s chaplain, “finally found the strong support of the Minister of Justice, Commander Villa,” who provided a budget of 150,000 lire for moving the royal remains to the first chapel to the left of the door.68 Anzino had chosen that unobtrusive location “so that visitors will be free to visit the tomb, without disturbing the functions of the church.”69 Furthermore, he sought a discreet design that maintained the curving lines of the Pantheon, and he wished to avoid using allegorical statues that might provoke ecclesiastical authorities.70 In similar deference to the church, he commissioned Giuseppe Massuero, author of the annual catafalque, to design “not a monument, but a simple deposit worthy of the Great King.”71 Massuero’s design, the drawings for which have been lost, consisted of a porphyry urn resting on a marble and porphyry podium and flanked by a pair of bronze candelabras.72 This scheme was approved by royal decree on April 10, 1881.

In late 1881, the Ministry of the Royal House inexplicably passed responsibility for the permanent royal tomb to Public Instruction Minister Baccelli.73 One can only imagine the delight with which this anticlerical zealot greeted the opportunity to meddle with the interior of the venerable structure. Baccelli acted swiftly: in January 1882 his ministry’s Fine Arts Commission promptly rejected the proposal of the royal house to relocate the tomb within the first chapel to the left of the door, because it lacked “the majesty of concept and of form” implied in the royal decree of April 1881.74 Instead, the commission supported Baccelli’s idea of erecting the royal sepulcher in the middle of the Pantheon, which emulated the placement of an emperor’s ashes at the center of an ancient mausoleum. Due to the threat of flooding, the project called for a tall structure, with the king’s body resting 5.2 meters above floor level, just above the five-meter-level achieved by the disastrous Tiber flood of December 1870.75 Giulio Monteverde, a professor of sculpture at the Istituto di Belle Arti in Rome, began designing the tomb in mid-1883. By November, the project was sufficiently advanced for the ministry to receive an offer of free marble from the proprietor of an ancient Roman quarry.76

Even more than the exterior restoration, the tomb would have allowed Baccelli to challenge the ecclesiastical purpose of the building with a function that responded to its round shape. Whereas other Sinistra leaders recognized that the tomb would inevitably have a sepulchral character with Christian overtones that distinguished it from the purely civil purpose of a national monument (in keeping with the two-bodies tradition), Baccelli, however, either misunderstood or ignored this distinction. Instead, he saw the tomb in the secular terms of the religion of statehood and asserted to parliament in December 1882 that the competition for a national monument to the king on the Capitoline was a useless endeavor, since the Pantheon already “had all the qualities to be rebaptised with the name National Monument.77 His agenda was clear: the royal tomb offered the opportunity to take over the Pantheon completely, with a massive monument erected at its center. That the highly controversial idea confused sepulcher and civil monument probably accounted for the absence of support from his government colleagues.

Not surprisingly, the project aroused bitter opposition from the Vatican. Having seen the zeal with which Baccelli operated, the deacon cardinal of the Pantheon vowed that the “Holy See must never permit the erection of any monument in the center of that Temple, either temporary or permanent.”78 The Vatican took the threat to this church seriously enough to convoke a “Cardinalate Congress”: four cardinals met on October 23, 1883, to devise a strategy to block the endeavor. The cardinals opposed the project on canonical – not aesthetic – grounds, arguing that tombs located at the center of a church or even above floor level were reserved for the bodies of saints.79 The excommunicated monarch was certainly no saint. They noted the same regulations that had prevented the realization of Michelangelo’s tomb for Julius II at the center of St. Peter’s. Recognizing the anticlerical and nationalistic intentions of Baccelli, the cardinals feared that his plan would set a precedent for the deconsecration of other “Christian temples.” They concluded, “such a monument would essentially change the nature and scope of the Sacred Temple. Its principal object is the worship of God, of the Blessed Virgin and of the Martyrs; after the erection [of the monument] it would principally serve funeral homages to a King. At present the Pantheon has all the grandeur of a Basilica; in the new project it would be converted into a great royal tomb, to which the remainder would serve only as a mere accessory.”80

In flagrant defiance of Vatican opposition, Baccelli achieved temporary fulfillment of his ambitious scheme. For the occasion of the 1884 national pilgrimage to Vittorio Emanuele’s tomb and in place of Massuero’s annual catafalque, Baccelli commissioned Giulio Monteverde to erect a “simulacrum” of his design, as mentioned previously for the royal tomb at the center of the Pantheon (Fig. 12.7).81 Monteverde rejected the baldachin form of Massuero’s catafalque, perhaps to avoid its ecclesiastical associations. Instead, his construction involved a massive ancient-style sarcophagus rising eight meters above a broad ten-meter-wide base anchored at the corners by imperial lions.82 Around the podium appeared bronze plaques of the principal Italian cities. On January 13, 1884, L’Illustrazione Italiana confidently reported that the “new tomb ... will contain the venerated body of King Vittorio” and would require four years for construction.83


12.7. Giulio Monteverde, “simulacrum” of the proposed tomb of Vittorio Emanuele II in the Pantheon, seen during the national pilgrimage to the king’s tomb, January 1884; engraving by Dante Paolocci. (L’Illustrazione Italiana, January 13, 1884, pp. 28–29)

Baccelli’s victory was short-lived. In addition to Vatican protests, the aesthetic and structural concerns of the Fine Arts Commission and Prime Minister Agostino Depretis’s lack of support for Baccelli combined to scuttle the central tomb project. The Fine Arts Commission, having initially supported the project, expressed doubt that the ancient drains under the pavement could support the weight of so massive a monument, and they ruled out the possibility of moving the drains.84 Exposure to the elements under the open oculus further detracted from the appeal of a central tomb. For reasons of aesthetic integrity, the commission opposed glazing the aperture, as it had also done in 1879 at the request of the Pantheon chapter.85 One other factor, possibly the decisive one, undoubtedly contributed to the demise of Baccelli’s proposal – the tradition of the “king’s two bodies.” For several years, Prime Minister Depretis had energetically promoted a grandiose national monument – to become the Victor Emanuel Monument erected between 1885 and 1911 – at a location separate from the king’s tomb in the Pantheon. Depretis illustrated his lack of support for the project by ordering in January 1884, following the national pilgrimage, the prompt removal of the simulacrum to some other location.86 Moreover, he replaced Baccelli as minister of public instruction with Michele Coppino two months later. The move toward a more discreetly sepulchral and less literally monumental tomb assured its distinction from the national monument.

On orders from King Umberto I in late December 1883, the Ministry of Public Instruction organized the relocation of the king’s remains to the central tribune on the west side of the Pantheon, supplanting the Chapel of the Holy Spirit.87 The actual translation ceremony took place on January 5, 1884, during the national pilgrimage events. Sometime in mid-1884, the Fine Arts Commission requested designs from Giuseppe Sacconi (1854–1905) and Manfredo Manfredi (1859–1927) for a permanent tomb sited within the central tribune. The two young architects had come in first and second, respectively, in the second competition for the Victor Emanuel Monument on the Capitoline Hill on June 24, 1884, and their rival designs for the tomb conformed to the official, neo-antique architectural language of the state. Both had trained at the Istituto di Belle Arti in Rome under Luigi Rosso, the designer of the funeral decorations at the Pantheon in 1878. While Sacconi won the monument competition, Manfredi received the commission to design the royal tomb as a “consolation” prize.88

Although Baccelli’s project for a central tomb failed to materialize, its strongly neo-antique character remained a salient part of the eventual tomb. After experimenting with a wide variety of schemes involving freestanding or engaged sarcophagi and elaborate relief sculptures on the tribune wall, Manfredi arrived at a final design by 1887. Aesthetic respect for the uncomplicated forms of the Pantheon dictated a highly simplified design, far removed from Baccelli’s grandiose vision. His scheme comprised a variety of motifs assiduously copied from ancient models, including a pair of candelabras, a pagan altar – so-called by one contemporary commentator89 – and an imperial eagle framed by a wreath and clutching bound fasces, this last an ancient symbol of unity highly appropriate to the king who oversaw the unification of Italy. A simple gilded inscription on the face of the main bronze panel – VITTORIO EMANUELE II / PADRE DELLA PATRIA – celebrated his most famous and explicitly imperial epithet (Plate XIV). The scheme emphasized the ancient spirit of the building to such an extent that it contained no reference to its Christian purpose. The ministry’s Fine Arts Commission (which by 1887 included among its members Manfredi’s rival, Giuseppe Sacconi) made significant modifications to the design. They removed the pagan altar and added bronze crosses in the panels flanking the tomb, to give the design its definitive appearance. In execution, the tomb also contributed to the restoration of the building, with the recreation of the ancient marble placage on the niche wall. The bronze components of the tomb employed more symbolically charged material, acquired by melting cannon that had fired in defense of the Roman Republic in 1849 and in one of the Risorgimento battles of 1859.90

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the tomb as designed by Manfredi was the absence of the traditional effigy of the deceased. This aspect of the composition provided further evidence that the two-bodies tradition exerted a strong influence on the thinking of Sinistra leaders. According to this tradition, “the two bodies, unquestionably united in the living king, were visibly segregated on the king’s demise” and that of the two, effigies represented the immortal body.91 In Rome, the government interpreted this tenet in the most literal way possible: Vittorio Emanuele’s mortal body remained in his dynastic mausoleum of the Pantheon; the king’s immortal body – the Italian royal office – was commemorated by the Victor Emanuel Monument on the Capitoline, where an effigy of the king appears in the glorified form of an imperial equestrian statue (Fig. 12.8). By maintaining the important distinction between the king’s two bodies, Sinistra leaders ensured that the national monument would remain a permanent symbol of the Italian state’s secular authority.


12.8. Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, Rome, by Giuseppe Sacconi, 1885–1911. (Photo author)

During the 1890s, the identity of the Pantheon changed in a highly unexpected and, for Guido Baccelli, an unwelcome way. Investigatory work conducted in January 1892 by Georges Chédanne (1861–1940), a French pensionnaire in Rome, revealed brickstamps throughout the structure dating to the time of Hadrian, and not Agrippa as stated in the frieze inscription.92 The redating, and concomitant reattribution, of this most venerable relic of Roman antiquity brought Chédanne considerable attention: by year’s end, he had received the Crown of Italy medal from the Italian government.93 The Ministry of Public Instruction, under Pasquale Villari, moved quickly to excavate inside the temple to find Agrippa’s Pantheon. The work, carried out in 1892 and 1893, was supervised by Luca Beltrami, an art historian, trained architect, and member of parliament from Milan, who had supported Chédanne’s work.94 He was assisted by Pier Olinto Armanini, a 22-year-old prize-winning architect in Rome, who created the drawings that documented their findings. The exhibition of Armanini’s drawings in Rome in 1895 brought the news of the Hadrianic provenance of the Pantheon to the attention of Public Instruction Minister Guido Baccelli,95 evidently for the first time. Earlier that year, Baccelli had undertaken the recreation of the original bronze inscription dedicated to Agrippa – 25 one-meter-tall letters – using 800 kilograms of bronze acquired from the Ministry of War.96 Upon hearing from Armanini that the Pantheon was not built by Agrippa, Baccelli reacted angrily: “Yet I have placed in bronze letters on the frieze of the Pantheon AGRIPPA FECIT; until I shall be with Minerva, vivaddio! Hadrian has nothing to do with it!”97 His vehement reaction suggests that his restoration of the Agrippan inscription had been an attempt to suppress the building’s newly uncovered Hadrianic provenance and that the association of the Pantheon with the Julian dynasty had been a significant part of its appeal when Crispi had selected it as the final resting place for Vittorio Emanuele II.

The burial in the Pantheon in 1900 of King Umberto I, Vittorio Emanuele’s son and successor who was assassinated in the northern Italian city of Monza, strengthened its role as a dynastic mausoleum. He was interred in the central tribune on the east side of the interior, directly opposite the tomb of his father. Guiseppe Sacconi, architect of the Victor Emanuel Monument, received the commission to design the tomb, for which he resuscitated his design for Vittorio Emanuele’s tomb that had placed second to Manfredi’s. It comprises a large rectangular marble panel flanked by an allegorical figure on each end, all set before a heavily garlanded sculptural backdrop above. Inscribed on the panel is the simple inscription UMBERTO I / RE D’ITALIA. In front, between the two ancient columns of the niche, Sacconi placed a porphyry altar supporting a bronze crown on a marble cushion. Ironically, Sacconi had been on the committee 13 years earlier that had rejected an almost identical altar designed by Manfredi for Vittorio Emanuele’s tomb as being too pagan in character. Apart from Umberto’s widow, Queen Margherita of Savoy, who was interred below her husband’s tomb in 1926, no other Italian monarchs would be laid to rest in the Pantheon. By the time Umberto’s successor, his son Vittorio Emanuele III, died in 1947, Italy had become a republic.

By 1900, the Pantheon had witnessed more than a half century of struggles to define modern Italy. For Italians, the city of Rome represented the dream of a united peninsula and, through association with the city’s ancient past, the aspiration for rekindled national greatness. Nowhere was this equation more powerfully felt than at the Pantheon. On the occasion of the entombment of Umberto, the antiquarian Ciro Nispi-Landi described the Pantheon as “the ring that reconnects the ancient and modern times, the ancestral art to that of our time, the power of Rome to the nationality of we Italians today.”98 The various attempts to forge this ring on the part of the secular Italian government reflected their larger struggle to acquire political legitimacy, particularly in the face of the ongoing presence of the papacy in Rome. Throughout the various attempted transformations of the Pantheon, the government encountered divergent ideals of preservation, rival claims to ownership, and conflicting patriotic visions, especially concerning how best to commemorate the king. The result, in the end, was a series of generally restrained interventions that defined the building we see today: closer to its ancient appearance than it had been for centuries on the exterior, yet only modestly altered physically on the interior, but typologically enriched by its new symbolic role as a dynastic mausoleum. In the larger scheme of modern Italian politics, the exploitation of the ancient Pantheon and the compromises brokered there between Italian and Vatican authorities closely anticipated the manner in which Mussolini attempted to establish his own authority in Rome after 1925.

Material for this chapter has been drawn from my Ph.D dissertation, “Rome as State Image: The Architecture and Urbanism of the Royal Italian Government, 1870–1900” (University of Pennsylvania, 1993). My research and ideas were further developed through a pair of conference papers delivered at the annual meetings of the Society of Architectural Historians in 1993 and the College Art Association in 2000. I owe special thanks to my dissertation advisor, David Brownlee, as well as to Lars Berggren, John Pinto, Mark Hewitt, Tod Marder, Greg Willams, and David Gobel for their insightful assistance.

1 Ferdinand Gregorovius, quoted in Silvio Negro, Seconda Roma: 1850–1870, Rome 1943; repr. Vicenza 1966, p. 30. All translations by the author, unless otherwise indicated.

2 Pietro Rosa, Sulle scoperte archeologiche della città e provincia di Roma negli anni 1871–72, Rome 1873, p. 1.

3 Letter, Coppino, Ministro della Pubblica Istruzione, to Mayor of Rome, Aug. 17, 1876, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, versamento 1, busta 81, fascicolo 109, sotto-fascicolo 14.

4 Vittorio Emanuele II was the second king in the House of Savoy by that name. With the creation of Italy as a constitutional monarchy, Vittorio Emanuele II became the new country’s first king, but he retained his ordinal number to preserve the continuity of the Savoy dynasty.

5 From 1861 to 1876, there were 15 different governments in Italy under nine different prime ministers.

6 “Il Re a Roma” and “La via de’ trionfatori,” L’Opinione, Oct. 24 and 26, 1870.

7 Ernst H. Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology, Princeton 1957; see especially, “The King Never Dies,” pp. 314–450.

8 Francesco Lattari, I monumenti dei principi di Savoia in Roma, Rome 1879, p. 321.

9 Letter, Anzino to Depretis, Feb. 14, 1883, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Ministero del Interno, Gabinetto, Atti Diversi, Ser. 1849–95, busta 8, fascicolo 9.

10 Renzo U. Montini, Tombe di Sovrani in Roma, Rome 1957, p. 31.

11 Letter, Anzino to Depretis, Jan. 11, 1878, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Depretis, serie 1, busta 23, fascicolo 83.

12 Letter, Anzino to Depretis, Feb. 14, 1883, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Ministero del Interno, Gabinetto, Atti Diversi, serie 1849–95, busta 8, fascicolo 9.

13 Earlier manifestations of the same concept, such as the Temple of English Worthies (1734) at Stowe, did not use the term “pantheon.”

14 See Pamela Scott, “Robert Mills and American Monuments,” in John M. Bryan, ed., Robert Mills, Architect, Washington, DC 1989, pp. 157–171.

15 Domenico Mollajoli, Progetto di un Panteon Nazionale italiano Storico-Politico-Artistico, Turin 1862; the “Pantheon” fireworks machine was designed by architect Gioacchino Ersoch and is illustrated in Bruno Tobia, Una patria per gli italiani, Rome 1991, p. 8 (Fig. 1).

16 Crispi, speeches of Mar. 10 and 17, 1881, Atti Parlamentari, Camera, Discussioni, pp. 4250 and 4457.

17 William C. Loerke, “Georges Chédanne and the Pantheon: A Beaux Arts Contribution to the History of Roman Architecture,” Modulus: University of Virginia School of Architecture Review 4, 1982, pp. 40–55; p. 41. See here Chapter Two.

18 “Il Pellegrinaggio nazionale,” L’Illustrazione Italiana, Jan. 13, 1884, p. 22.

19 L’Illustrazione Italiana, Jan. 27, 1878, p. 50, and Feb. 3, 1878, p. 68.

20 Letter, Anzino to Depretis, Feb. 14, 1883, ACS, Min.Int, GabAD, Ser.1849–95, b.8, f.9.

21 “Elenco delle Persone Reali e Personaggi dei seguiti Loro presenti ...,” Jan. 17, 1878, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Ministero della Real Casa, Ufficio del Prefetto di Palazzo, filza 34, 1878.

22 Fiorella Bartoccini, Roma nell’Ottocento: Il tramonto della “Città Santa,” nascita di una capital, 2 vols., Istituto Nazionale di Studi Romani, Storia di Roma, Bologna 1985, vol. 2, pp. 484–485.

23 “Rivista Politica,” L’Illustrazione Italiana, Jan. 27, 1878, p. 50.

24 No literature exists on royal exequies in nineteenth-century Italy. The organization, timing, and decoration of such events, to judge from those held for Vittorio Emanuele II in the Pantheon, appear entirely consistent with seventeenth-century exequies in the Spanish court, which are discussed at length by Steven N. Orso, Art and Death at the Spanish Hapsburg Court, Columbia, Mo., 1989.

25 Basilio Magni, Descrizione dell’apparato fatto nel Pantheon, Rome 1878, p. 5, n. 1; see Silvio Negro, Album Romano, Rome 1956.

26 “L’esequie per Vittorio Emanuele nel Pantheon,” L’Illustrazione Italiana, Mar. 3, 1878, p. 139.

27 Magni 1878, p. 7.

28 Letter, Angelo Vecellio to Ministro della Pubblica Istruzione [Baccelli], Nov. 12, 1883, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Artichità e Belle Arti, versamento 1, busta 123, fascicolo 174, sotto-fascicolo 3.

29 Armando Ravaglioli (Roma umbertina, Rome 1984, p. 97) asserts without elaboration or proof that the second funeral was the first time Vittorio Emanuele was defined as Padre della Patria.

30 Magni 1878, pp. 13–14. To fuel the starry display, architect Antonio Viviani brought in an underground gas line from the Teatro Argentina, more than 300 meters to the south (though it is unknown how these were installed inside the coffers); see letter, Ministro del Interno [Depretis] to Ministro della Pubblica Istruzione [Baccelli], Aug. 5, 1882, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Artichità e Belle Arti, Monumenti e Onoranze a Uomini Illustri, busta 10, fascicolo “1878–1894. Roma. Morte di V...E... II ed onoranze anniversarie.”

31 On this scheme, see Richard Krautheimer, The Rome of Alexander VII, 1655–1667, Princeton 1985, pp. 104–109; and Tod A. Marder, “Bernini and Alexander VII: Criticism and Praise of the Pantheon in the Seventeenth Century,” Art Bulletin 71, no. 4, 1989, pp. 628–645.

32 Copy of letter, Mayor of Rome to Prefetto della Provincia di Roma, undated, enclosed with letter, Prefetto della Provincia di Roma to Ministro della Pubblica Istruzione [Coppino], Feb. 15, 1879, ACS, DGABA, Vers.1, b.119, f.172, sf.19.

33 Letter, Gori, Arciprete at Pantheon, to Fiorelli, Mar. 8, 1879 [date received], Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, versamento 1, busta 120, fascicolo 172, sotto-fascicolo 34.

34 Letter, Gori to Fiorelli, Mar. 8, 1879.

35 Letter, Fiorelli to Gori, Aug. 18, 1879, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, versamento 1, busta 120, fascicolo 172, sotto-fascicolo 34.

36 Auturo Bianchi, “Le vicende e le realizzazioni del piano regolatore di Roma Capitale,” Capitolium 10, 1934, pp. 33–47; p. 37.

37 Pietro Comparini, Monumento nazionale da erigersi in Roma al re Vittorio Emanuele II: progetto del cav. Pietro Comparini architetto a Firenze, Florence 1881. The author wishes to thank Claudia Conforti and Carla Trovini for clarifying the identity of this architect and bringing to light this source.

38 Letter, P. Piranesi to French Minister of the Interior, June 24, 1810, quoted in Pierre Pinon, “Piazze e monumenti di Roma,” in Forma, ed. A. Capodiferro, Rome 1985, pp. 48–49; p. 48.

39 Valadier’s plan is illustrated in Pinon 1985a, p. 48.

40 Achille Monti, “Il Pantheon di Roma,” Il Buonarroti, November/December 1870, pp. 318–321.

41 Copy of an undated letter from the Mayor of Rome to the Prefetto della Provincia di Roma, enclosed with letter, Prefetto della Provincia di Roma to the Ministro di Pubblica Istruzione, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 119, fascicolo 172, sotto-fascicolo 19.

42 De l’Isle’s “theory of the two cities” was first applied in Rome to Trajan’s Column, in a project designed by Valadier but carried out only after the departure of the French. For a brief discussion of his theory, see Pierre Pinon, “Roma antica e Roma moderna: sovrapporre o giustapporre,” in Forma, ed. A. Capodiferro, Rome 1985, pp. 21–23.

43 See Giambattista Demora, Il Piano Regolatore di Roma e le antichità classiche, Rome 1882, pp. 71–77.

44 Boito summarized his ideas on restoration in Camillo Boito, Il nuovo e l’antico in architettura, ed. Maria Antonietta Crippa, Milan 1989, pp. 107–126. See also Alberto M. Racheli, “Restauri a Roma capital. Teorie da Camillo Boito a Gustavo Giovannoni: tra conservazione e innovazione,” in Forma, ed. A. Capodiferro, Rome 1985, pp. 86–90.

45 Decreto [contratto], Baccelli, Ministro della Pubblica Istruzione, Nov. 9, 1881, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 119, fascicolo 172, sotto-fascicolo 37.

46 Costantino Maes, Il Pantheon: Le espropriazioni e le demolizioni alle Terme di Agrippa, Rome 1881, p. 7.

47 See “I restauri del Pantheon.” L’Illustrazione Italiana, Apr. 15, 1883, p. 234.

48 Baccelli, text of speech entitled “Onorevoli Colleghi!” n.d. [ca. Dec. 1881], Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 120, fascicolo 172, sotto-fascicolo 37.

49 Letter, Anzino to Depretis, Feb. 14, 1883, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 123, fascicolo 174, sotto-fascicolo 1.

50 See letter, Azzurri, Presidente, Accademia Romana di S. Luca, to Ministro della Pubblica Istruzione [Baccelli], Apr. 18, 1882, and letter, Avv. Trotti to Fiorelli, Apr. 28, 1882, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 121, fascicolo 173, sotto-fascicolo 1. Regarding the front-page coverage, see L’Illustrazione Italiana, Apr. 15, 1883.

51 Maes 1881, p. 28.

52 Letter, Cardinal Francesco Bartolini to “Eminenza Reverendissima,” undated [ca. Oct. 1883], Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Segretario de Stato, 1883, Rubrica 165, fascicolo unico, p. 15. Original phrase: testa bistacco di ministro.

53 “Il Pellegrinaggio nazionale,” 1884, p. 22.

54 Quoted in Tobia 1991, p. 139.

55 Report, Commissione Permanente delle Belle Arti, Jan. 18, 1882, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 123, fascicolo 174, sotto-fascicolo 2.

56 Letter, Vecellio to Ministro della Pubblica Istruzione [Baccelli], Nov. 12, 1883, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 123, fascicolo 174, sotto-fascicolo 3.

57 Letter, Falconieri to Umberto I, Nov. 10, 1883, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 123, fascicolo 174, sotto-fascicolo 3.

58 Letter, Ministro della Pubblica Istruzione [De Sanctis] to Ministro della Real Casa, Dec. 6, 1878, Anchivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Concorsi Vari, busta 6, fascicolo “Roma. Progetti pel Monumento Nazionale al Re Vittorio Emanuele II.”

59 Letter, Ministro della Pubblica Istruzione [De Sanctis] to Ministro della Real Casa, Dec. 6, 1878, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Concorsi Vari, busta 6, fascicolo “Roma. Progetti pel Monumento Nazionale al Re Vittorio Emanuele II.”

60 James S. Ackerman, The Architecture of Michelangelo, rev. ed., Chicago 1986, pp. 163–164.

61 Alessandro Guiccioli, “Diario del 1881,” Nuova Antologia 71, fascicolo 1544, July 16, 1936, p. 184.

62 For an exhaustive analysis of the organization and significance of the national pilgrimage of 1884, see Tobia 1991, pp. 100–142.

63 Tobia 1991, p. 111.

64 Tobia 1991, pp. 113, 137–138.

65 Tobia 1991, p. 136.

66 See, for example, Ugo Pesci, “La Tomba del Gran Re,” L’Illustrazione Italiana, Jan. 22, 1882, p. 74.

67 Pesci 1882.

68 Letter, Anzino to Depretis, Feb. 14, 1883, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 123, fascicolo 174, sotto-fascicolo 1.

69 “Relazione a S.E.” [Depretis], on paper “Ministero dell’Interno: Gabinetto,” is a precis of the letter and its appended documents, Anzino to Depretis, Feb. 14, 1883, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Ministero del Interno, Gabinetto, Atti Diversi, Ser. 1849–95, busta 8, fascicolo 9.

70 Note marked “N.B.,” unsigned and undated, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Ministero del Interno, Gabinetto, Atti Diversi, Ser. 1849–95, busta 8, fascicolo 9.

71 Letter, Anzino to Depretis, Feb. 14, 1883, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 123, fascicolo 174, sotto-fascicolo 1.

72 “Relazione a S.E.,” ca. Feb. 1883, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Ministero del Interno, Gabinetto, Atti Diversi, Ser. 1849–95, busta 8, fascicolo 9.

73 Letter, Ministro della Real Casa to Baccelli, Ministro della Pubblica Istruzione, Nov. 12, 1881, and letters, Baccelli to Ministro della Real Casa, Nov. 18, 1881, and Feb. 3, 1882, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 123, fascicolo 174, sotto-fascicolo 1.

74 Report of the Commissione Permanente di Belle Arti of Jan. 18, 1882, quoted in letter, Baccelli to Ministro della Real Casa, Feb. 3, 1882, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 123, fascicolo 174, sotto-fascicolo 1.

75 Note marked “N.B.,” unsigned and undated, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Ministero del Interno, Gabinetto, Atti Diversi, Ser. 1849–95, busta 8, fascicolo 9.

76 Letter, Filippo Cerroti to Baccelli, Nov. 7, 1883, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 123, fascicolo 174, sotto-fascicolo 3.

77 “Belle Arti: Monumento a Vittorio Emanuele da erigersi in Roma. Lettera aperta a S.E. il Ministro Baccelli,” Gazzetta d’Italia, Dec. 18, 1882.

78 Letter, Filippo Gargano to “Eminenza Reverendissima” [Cardinal Bartolini?], Oct. 1883, Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Segretaria di Stato 1883, Rubrica 165, fascicolo unico, p.14.

79 The details of this paragraph are drawn from the letter, Cardinal Bartolini to the deacon cardinal of the Pantheon, Sbarretti, Oct. 29, 1883, Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Segretaria di Stato 1883, Rubrica 165, fascicolo unico, pp. 34–42.

80 Letter, Cardinal Bartolini to the deacon cardinal of the Pantheon, Sbarretti, Oct. 29, 1883, Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Segretaria di Stato 1883, Rubrica 165, fascicolo Unico, p. 40.

81 Letter, Depretis to Baccelli, Jan. 29, 1884, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 123, fascicolo 174, sotto-fascicolo 5.

82 “Il Pellegrinaggio nazionale,” 1884, p. 22.

83 “Il Pellegrinaggio nazionale,” 1884, p. 22.

84 Note marked “N.B.,” unsigned and undated, ACS, Min. Int, GabAD, Ser. 1849–95, b.8, f.9.

85 Letter, Gori to Ministro della Pubblica Istruzione [Coppino], Jun. 18, 1879, ACS, DGABA, Vers.1, b.120, f.172, sf.34.

86 Letter, Depretis to Baccelli, Jan. 29, 1884, ACS, DGABA, Vers.1, b.123, f.174, sf.5.

87 Letter, Fiorelli to Ministro della Real Casa, Dec. 26, 1883, ACS, DGABA, Vers.1, b.123, f.174, sf.4.

88 Franco Borsi and Maria Cristina Buscioni, Manfredo Manfredi e il classicismo della nuova Italia, Milan 1983, p. 15. Letter, Fiorelli to Morelli, Jul. 11, 1884, ACS, DGABA, Vers.1, b.123, f.174, sf.1. Fiorelli invited Morelli to examine the models presented by Manfredi and to report the modifications he deemed necessary. Fiorelli did not mention any other architects’ projects, suggesting that the ministry had already awarded the commission to Manfredi.

89 “Al Pantheon,” La Voce della Verità, Dec. 18, 1885.

90 Borsi and Buscioni 1983, p. 95.

91 Kantorowicz 1957, p. 423.

92 The discovery was reported early on by Rodolfo Lanciani, Pagan and Christian Rome, Boston 1892. See also Loerke 1982, pp. 40–55.

93 Loerke 1982, p. 43.

94 Loerke 1982, p. 42.

95 Baccelli had been reappointed as minister of public instruction, his fourth turn in this position, in December 1893 in the third government of Francesco Crispi.

96 Letter, Baccelli to Mocenni, Ministro della Guerra, Sept. 7, 1894, Archivio Centrale dello Stato, Rome, Direzione Generale di Antichità e Belle Arti, Versamento 1, busta 121, fascicolo 173, sotto-fascicolo 1.

97 Quoted in Loerke 1982, p. 44.

98 Ciro Nispi-Landi, Marco Agrippa, I suoi tempi e il suo Pantheon, attualmente tomba dei Re d’Italia Vittorio Emanuele II–Umberto I di Savoia, Rome 1901, p. 109.

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