(Re)invoking humanism in modernity: Architecture and spectacle in Fascist Italy1

Nicholas Temple, Eleni Tracada

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The influence of Fascism on intellectual, artistic and architectural developments in interwar Italy has been the subject of intense debate. This has given rise to contested views about the combined impact of modernism and historical precedents on Fascist ideology, the arguments often clouded by disputes concerning the patrimony of art in Italy and whether Fascism should cultivate its own distinctive aesthetic. 2 However, many of the leading voices of Italian cultural life during the Fascist regime refused to discriminate between different aesthetic choices, believing that “Italian cultural traditions precluded aesthetic regulation.” 3 The debate becomes most revealing when considered in the context of the origins of Fascism. The eminent Italian philosopher and historian Benedetto Croce believed, for example, that Fascism could be traced back almost exclusively to the futurist movement, both in its artistic aspirations and in political activism … in the resolution to go down to the piazza, to impose one’s own feelings, to shut the mouths of those who are dissenting, to be unafraid of commotions and riots; in the eagerness of the new, in the desire to break every tradition, in the exaltation of youth, which was proper to futurism.” 4
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook on the Reception of Classical Architecture
EditorsNicholas Temple, Andrzej Piotrowski, Juan Manuel Herdia
Place of PublicationAbingdon & New York
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781315171104
ISBN (Print)1138047112, 9781138047112
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2019


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