Beginning in the 1730s, Heather Minor tells us, Rome 'began to resemble one huge construction site', with a series of ambitious and expensive new building campaigns that transformed the face and substance of Rome. From renovations of the Santa Maria Maggiore and San Giovanni in Laterano and the restoration of the Arch of Constantine, to the creation of the Capitoline Museum and the establishment of the papacy's Calcografia, the push for reform not only renewed papal and Church identity but also revived Italian culture as a whole. Based on extensive archival research and full of fascinating stories about the often stormy theological and intellectual debates central to the attempts at reform, "The Culture of Architecture in Enlightenment Rome" brings to life the personalities of architects, theologians, and intellectuals and links these extensive architectural programs with powerful shifts in the intellectual climate of the time.
Heather Hyde Minor is an Assistant Professor of Architectural History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is the co-editor of The Serpent and the Stylus: Essays on G. B. Piranesi (2006).