165. Andrea Gigante (1731-1787)

Architect of the Sicilian Baroque era born in Trapani. He studied architecture under Giovanni Biagio Amico (1684–1754) and around 1751 he came under the patronage of Giuseppe Stella, Bishop of Mazara del Vallo, with whom he went to Palermo and was ordained.

After ordination he entered the household of the Prince of Scordia, a Sicilian aristocrat, working on the various houses owned by the Scordia family. Other Sicilian buildings in the baroque style designed by Giganti include Villa Galetti (Bagheria), Villa Ventimiglia (at Mezzo-Monreale), the church of S. Paolo dei Giardinieri, and the dais and high altar at the church of San Salvatore in Palermo. Gigante was hired to restore and expand villa Palazzo Valguarnera-Gangi, heavily damaged by the earthquake of 1750. Gigante added a new wing to the palace. The addition included the “Hall of Mirror” (or ballroom), set of one of the key scenes of Luchino Visconti’s “Gattopardo”

Salone degli Specchi, Palazzo Valguarnera-Gangi
Salone degli Specchi, Palazzo Valguarnera-Gangi

A trained engineer, Giganti was also responsible for a number of bridges. Towards the end of his life he began to forsake the baroque style in favour of a more simple neoclassical style.

Read More:
1. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrea_Giganti
2. La Stampa, http://www.lastampa.it/2014/12/24/italia/cronache/rinasce-la-dimora-da-film-che-fece-vivere-il-gattopardo-5xUgw0G8bSBGvsL00jCdRL/pagina.html

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