Brandi's Teoria del Restauro on architecture : prelude & fugue

González-Longo, Cristina; (2023) Brandi's Teoria del Restauro on architecture : prelude & fugue. In: Cesare Brandi e le Frontiere del Restauro. Istituto Centrale del Restauro, ITA.

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In his Teoria del Restauro (Theory of Conservation), Cesare Brandi promoted the unity of methodology for all types of art work, including architecture. Rather than revisiting Brandi’s writings, this paper discusses the precedents concerning architectural conservation, in particular the English influence from John Ruskin and SPAB via Giacomo Boni, the first to practice critical conservation, as we understand it today. Brandi had direct access to Boni’s projects, including diaries, correspondence and drawings, left at the Directorate of Antiquities and Fine Arts in Rome after his death. All the topics contained in Brandi’s theory were already present in Boni’s work and writings, which were very much influenced by his education and training in Venice, Ruskin’s mentorship, and his cultural and technical exchanges with SPAB. Brandi’s theory influence in praxis will also be discussed, with a focus in Italy and UK, arriving to some conclusions concerning the educational and cultural needs to advance architectural conservation.