48. Ernesto Basile (1857 – 1932)

Architect, exponent of modernism and pioneer of Art Nouveau, Basile became well-known for his stylistic fusion of ancient, medieval and modern elements with Roman, Norman and Arab influences.

Basile was born in 1857 in Palermo, where he graduated at the Royal School of Engineering in 1878.  During the 1880s he lived in Rome where, in 1887, he married Ida Negrini and became assistant professor at the University of Rome first and professor of technical architecture later. In 1890, he succeeded his father, architect and professor Giovanni Battista Filippo Basile, in the direction of the construction of the Teatro Massimo Victoria Emanuele in Palermo until its completion in 1897.

In 1881 Basile took part in a competition, held by Francesco Crispi (the Prime Minister of Italy), for the reconstruction of Palazzo Montecitorio, seat of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. In 1903 his project for the new parliamentary hall was selected and presented by the Prime Minister of Italy Giovanni Giolitti. In his design, Basile fused the Roman classicist and Baroque elements of the building with Art Nouveau imagery. The Italian parliament was completed in 1927.

Basile was also the architect for the construction of the town hall of Reggio Calabria (1911), Il Palazzo della Cassa Centrale di Risparmio in Palermo, the Kursaal Biondo theatre, and the church of Santa Rosalie (Palermo). Just to mention a few of his works.

Read More:
1. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernesto_Basile

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