Margherita Sarfatti on architecture

Of all arts, architecture is by its very essence most entitled to represent the political and social welfare [and] of the status of civilization of a commonwealth, at a certain degree and state of its development.

Music, literature, poetry, nay, even painting and sculpture may be to a certain extent the results of a peculiar or personal, individual mood, though of course the highest and most exalted tree still is very one which radicates its roots deepest in the common soil. But there is more in architecture than meets the eye.

First of all, to produce it, ist is not sufficient to dispose of paper, ink, canvass, clay and colours. One must get ahead of that rare bird, a client, with real estate, mostly costly area, and more or less big capitals as a background. One cannot build for oneself alone, indeed, the most important monumental buildings of any time have never been a private affair, but an affair of state; priests, kings, Popes, republics, or whoever happened to be the power that are, have been the ones to order the enduring monuments of architecture, which defied centuries and bear witness to long since decayed civilizations: tombs, temples, churches, theatres and palatial sovereign abodes, meant to impress the people. […]

Margherita G. Sarfatti, 1934

Undatiertes Manuskript von Margherita Sarfatti, das nach Recherchen von Marina Sommella Grossi auf den 21. März 1934 datiert worden ist. Sarfatti verfasst es an Bord des Ozeandampfers ‚Rex‘ auf dem Weg in die USA, um einige Notizen für einen Zeitungsartikel in (La Stampa) festzuhalten. Das englischsprachige Manuskript wurde erstmals von Marina Sommella Grossi veröffentlicht, in: Schnapp, Jeffrey T. (Hg.): In Cima. Giuseppe Terragni per Margherita Sarfatti. Venedig 2004, S. 149.

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