Until 07 November 2022, the exhibition entitled ‘Fragments of Paradise. Gardens at the time of the Reggia di Caserta‘, curated by Reggia di Caserta Director Tiziana Maffei, Alberta Campitelli and Alessandro Cremona has extended at the grand, multifaceted royal residence, a UNESCO heritage site not far from Naples, Italy.
The extraordinary Royal Palace, commissioned by King Charles of Bourbon and designed by the architect Luigi Vanvitelli, is a monumental structure that occupies 47,000 square meters and rises over five floors. The Reggia di Caserta, in addition to being appreciated by the public for its historical and artistic value as a Royal Apartments and the Green Museum, has hosted countless initiatives of various kinds that have been met with great success.
In the rooms of the Queen’s Apartment overlooking the incomparably beautiful view of the Royal Park with its theatrical waterworks, the exhibition is an opportunity to understand the history of the garden with about 150 works including paintings, drawings, sculptures, herbariums, books and art objects and contemporary interpretations. A kaleidoscope of representations that, in the diversity of landscapes, cultural models and lifestyles, evoke, through contact with nature, the lost Eden to which man has always aspired.
The exhibition will be an opportunity to enhance the Green Museum of the Royal Palace of Caserta, a treasure chest for its vegetal, architectural and landscape component, also in terms of economic development. In the project by King Carlo and Luigi Vanvitelli, the Royal Palace of Caserta was the royal residence, but also the forge of productivity. In recent years, the Institute has been making a great commitment to the recovery and enhancement of this important cultural heritage, respecting the original vocation of these places, too through their “implementation” through the partnership with economic and entrepreneurial realities that know how to grasp its value and future prospects. Among the ongoing projects, there is Semi-Development and Meraviglia d’Impresa, the newborn project incubator of the Royal Palace of Caserta aimed at redevelopment and enhancement of the heritage of the Vanvitellian Complex in historical-artistic terms and cultural, but also productive and developmental.
The exhibition catalog published by Colonnese editor, in 400 pages avails itself of an authoritative Scientific Committee, collects in-depth essays by experts on the various themes connected to the vast world of gardens, and is accompanied by the schemes of the works that you wind through the rooms that host the exhibition, organized by sections.
The Green Museum, consisting of the Royal Park and the English Garden, which covers an area of 123 hectares, is the expression of a complex landscape vision. The Royal Park, designed by the genius of Vanvitelli, is a typical example of an Italian garden built with vast lawns, flower beds and lush water features. In fact, along the central axis there are large pools with fountains and waterfalls decorated with large sculptural groups that create a scenographic effect of great impact. The waterway culminates in the Torrione and the large waterfall. The water is transported by the Caroline Aqueduct.
The English Garden, in the upper part of the Green Museum, was strongly desired by Maria Carolina of Habsburg, sister of Marie Antoinette of France. It is characterized by an apparent “natural” disorder of waterways, fake ruins, such as the Cryptoporticus in the Bagno di Venere which houses the statues from the Pompeii excavations and the Farnese collection, and the ruins of the Doric Temple. The English Garden has a rich and precious plant heritage. Numerous exotic specimens from all over the world were planted here.
Caroline Aqueduct it was also conceived and designed by the architect Luigi Vanvitelli on commission from Charles of Bourbon to power the water features of the Royal Palace and the entire palace and to supply the surrounding area. The entire route of the aqueduct runs for a length of 38 km and is visible, in all its magnificence, for a stretch above ground about 10 kilometers from the Royal Palace, in the Valle di Maddaloni area. The bridge is an imposing tuff structure with three tiers of round arches that rises to a height of 60 meters and a length of about 500 meters.
2023 will be the 250th anniversary of the death of the architect Luigi Vanvitelli who, interpreting the dream of the enlightened Charles of Bourbon to want to represent the prestige of a great monarchy in Europe, conceived the majestic project of the Royal Palace of Caserta and the new capital of Government of the Kingdom of Naples. For this occasion, the Royal Palace of Caserta, the Autonomous Museum of the MiC, and the Municipality of Caserta have elaborated a program of celebrations of national and international importance declined in a plurality of initiatives to be held in different places in the national territory.
One of the planned activities is the call for papers aimed at scholars to collect research contributions, with a specific section “Young researchers”, on this fundamental figure of the eighteenth-century artistic and cultural panorama. The International Study Conference will take place in March at the Royal Palace of Caserta. Scholars will be able to propose contributions relating to a multiplicity of topics aimed at portraying the man, the architect, the engineer, the musicologist, the inventor, the father, the religious, or any element that can clarify the value and transversality of his legacy.
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