The figure of Domenico Paganelli, after his death in 1624, remained almost unknown except in the historiography of the Dominican order to which he belonged. He has recently been rediscovered, reconstructing its relations with the Roman cardinal circles under the pontificate of Clement VIII. Although the catalog of his works is small (palazzo Bonelli ai Ss. Apostoli, nave of S. Salvatore in Lauro, design for the sanctuary of Mondovì and little else), numerous clues suggest to deepen his architectural culture, especially because he was “maestro di architettura” of Bernardino and Virgilio Spada. His culture is documented by the inventory of his library kept in the convent of Faenza and then dispersed. It consisted of over a hundred books in mathematics, astronomy, military and mechanical art, as well as architectural treatises. Among these we can find out an unusual interest in the French treatise writers, Du Cerceau and Jean Cousin. The analysis of Paganelli’s collection of books therefore raises broader questions on the circulation of ideas and architectural knowledge in Rome and in the Legazioni between the end of the Renaissance and the beginning of the Baroque period.
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