Italian technical literature in the field of architectural restoration: The case study of the Historic Memories about the Vatican Church by Giovanni Poleni

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Alessia Bianco;


Studies in Conservation, Volume 62, Number 5, p.283-293 (2017)


This paper provides a theoretical, methodological, and practical contribution to the debate about strategies for the divulgation of the Italian technical literature of the eighteenth century in English-speaking countries with attention to the Italian universities and cultural institutions of the time. The paper contains a survey of the historical bibliography of contemporary translations of non-technical treatises of architecture in the English language and it proceeds to draw up a set of guidelines (decalogue) of different recently proposed methodologies and strategies. It describes the selection of the treatise to translate, relevant to the context and authoritative knowledge in the European scientific background of the eighteenth century; it continues by proposing a synopsis of the original text in the Italian modern language, a strategy used in order to make historical technical treatises accessible to the contemporary scientific Italian language. Approaches and strategies are experimented with in the case study of Historic Memories about the Great Dome of the Vatican Church (Le Memorie Istoriche della Gran Cupola Vaticana) by Giovanni Poleni, one of the most authoritative scholars of eighteenth-century Europe.