Camillo Boito  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Camillo Boito (October 30 1836 - June 28 1914) was an Italian architect, engineer and art historian. He taught at the Venice School of Fine Arts, and was a noted art critic and novelist. His best-known work is Senso.


Boito was born in Rome.

He studied in Padua and then architecture at the Accademia (School of Fine Arts) in Venice. During his time there, he was influenced by Selvatico Estense, an architect who championed the study of medieval art in Italy. He taught architecture at the School of Fine Arts until 1856 when he moved to Tuscany.

During his extensive work restoring ancient buildings, he tried to reconcile the conflicting views of his contemporaries on architectural restoration, notably those of Eugene Viollet-le-Duc and John Ruskin.

Boito is perhaps most famous for his restoration of the Church and Campanile of Santi Maria e Donato at Murano, inspired by the theories and techniques of Viollet-Le-Duc. He also worked on the Porta Ticinese in Milan between 1856-1858 and famed Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua in 1899.

Other architectural designs include Gallarate Hospital (in Gallarate, Italy) and a school in Milan. His most famous building in Milan is the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti Giuseppe Verdi which was built 1895 - 99. It was financed by the composer Giuseppe Verdi and serves as a resting home for retired musicians, and as a memorial for the composer, who is buried in the cellar. In the early 1900s, Boito helped shape Italian laws protecting historical monuments.

He also wrote several collections of short stories, including a psychological horror short story titled A Christmas Eve, a tale of incestious obsession and necrophilia, which bears a striking similarity to Edgar Allan Poe's Berenice. Around 1882 he wrote his most famous novella, Senso, a disturbing tale of sexual decadence. In 1954, Senso was memorably adapted for the screen by Italian director Luchino Visconti and then, later, in 2002 into a more sexually disturbing adaptation by Tinto Brass. Another story, A Body, has recently been adapted into an opera by the Greek composer Kharálampos Goyós.

Boito died in Milan in 1914.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Camillo Boito" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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