Wednesday, 9 April 2014



Statua di San Carlo Borromeo (begun in 1614)

Giovanni Battista Crespi (il Cerano)


External stair
Inside his head, photo by Cameron McEwan

Aldo Rossi:

'The interior-exterior aspect of architecture was certainly first suggested to me by the San Carlone at Arona, a work which I have drawn and studied so many times it is now difficult for me to relate it to the visual education of my childhood. I subsequently understood that it pleased me because here the limits that distinguish the domains of architecture, the machine, and instruments were dissolved in marvellous invention. As with the Homeric horse, the pilgrim enters the body of the saint as he would a tower or a wagon steered by a knowing technician. After he mounts the exterior stair of the pedestal, the steep ascent through the interior of the body reveals the structure of the work, and the welded seams of the huge pieces of sheet metal. Finally, he arrives at the interior-exterior of the head; from the eyes of the saint, the view of the lake acquires infinite contours, as if one were gazing from a celestial observatory.

But perhaps the very dimensions of this construction give me a strange feeling of happiness: it's strength is potential. When one observes a motionless locomotive or a tank, the effect is not very different.'


Aldo Rossi ~ A Scientific Autobiography ~ Oppostion Books ~ MIT ~ 1981

A beautiful book, a copy of which is in Dreadnought library


San Carlone di Arona interno della statua

Colosso San Carlo

Scala interna

One eyed sight


Fondazione Aldo Rossi



Giovanni Battista Crespi (Il Cerano)

Giovanni Battista Crespi (il Cerano)