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The Polatta portico (now Canavesi), a sign of emigration

The portico that leads to the courtyard and the houses around it once belonged to the Polatta family, is a large and impressive cube with a bias-cut arch, ‘bugne’ stones (projecting outward from the building to be later carved into decorative mouldings, coats of arms etc.) in the corner areas and a wide frieze of cherubs, heraldic shields and plates with inscriptions that run under the eaves.

 

The elegant and imposing build reminds us of the city gates in its massive construction and decorative apparatus and their real and ideal values of defense, separation and at the same time of communication.

 

The refined aesthetic work at the entrance reflects a clear urban experience and an evident intent of self-representation of the client - Francesco Polatta, architect and military engineer who erected this portal, leaving the coat of arms of his family over the portal arch.

Next to the heraldic emblem there is a cartouche (a carved tablet or drawing representing a scroll with rolled-up ends) with the date 1668 and the epigram ‘The past punishes me.  I do not like the present. The future scares me.’ On the northern side we read - ‘With truth, language blesses. With lies, language curses.’ In their disconsolate message these inscriptions translate the horror and the loss of a man of arms living in an insidious world, at the centre of political and religious conflicts, as well as epidemics of plague and famine that shook seventeenth century Europe.

 

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© Comune di Melano     |     credits     |     Ultimo aggiornamento della pagina: 09.10.2018     |     Visualizzazione: RegolareStampa