Bernardo Vittone, Santa Chiara, Bra.
Dr. William Stargard, Professor of Art History and Assistant Dean of Faculty Development and Teaching Excellence, was invited to deliver his paper, “Space and the Meaning of Distance in the Architecture of Bernardo Vittone” at the Eighth Noel Symposium at The Noel Collection at Louisiana State University in Shreveport on 13 December 2013. This international symposium on eighteenth-century literature and art was sponsored by the James Smith Noel Foundation. The theme of this year’s symposium was Hemispheres and Stratospheres: The Idea and Experience of Distance in the International Enlightenment.
In his paper Professor Stargard explored the functional and symbolic meanings of distance in several charitable institutions and convent churches designed by the Italian architect, Bernardo Vittone (1704-1770). These commissions for enclosed communities required Vittone to design spaces that maintained strict physical separation between inhabitant and public visitor. However, Vittone also emphasized distance between inhabitant and public visitor in these commissions to accentuate the symbolic importance of spirituality.