Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Fuga, Ferdinando
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Italian architect. Active in Rome and Naples, designed churches and palaces, and sensitively renovated medieval and Renaissance churches and palaces. In Rome he designed the Palazzo della Consultà 1732–37 and the Palazzo Corsini 1736–c. 1750. Although most of his works are in a late baroque style, his later works reflect a transition to neoclassicism.

Life Fuga was born in Florence and studied there and in Rome. In 1730 he was appointed architect of the papal palaces, a position he held under Clement XII 1730–40 and Benedict XIV 1740–58. His commissions included renovations, the most important of which were the Quirinale Palace 1730–32 and the churches of Sta Maria Maggiore 1741–43 and Sant' Apollinare 1742–48. In 1751 he moved to Naples, where his two main projects were a cemetery at Tredici 1762–63 and the Albergo dei Poveri 1751–81, a vast poorhouse.

Work His late baroque style was well suited to his official position in Rome, the papacy requiring elegant and imposing buildings that reflected the church's dignity and power. His renovations, far from being of secondary importance, display great subtlety and originality in blending the old and the new. They are an expression of an 18th-century desire to preserve ancient buildings and monuments (the remains of ancient Roman buildings and monuments were being keenly excavated at the time). His later designs – in particular the Albergo dei Poveri, which had to house 8,000 people – have a neoclassical simplicity and order. This shift to neoclassicism reflected not only a growing interest in the buildings of ancient Rome among 18th-century architects, but also the need to provide a clear and well-ordered solution to a large-scale project.

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.