RAGUZZINI, Filippo
(b. ca. 1680, Napoli, d. 1771, Roma)

Biography

Italian architect, born in Naples into a family of stonemasons. He was called to Benevento in the wake of the earthquake of 1702, which caused widespread destruction in the city. In Benevento, he came to the attention of Pietro Francesco Orsini, the then archbishop of Benevento for 38 years, who in 1724 became Benedict XIII. This encounter with Orsini would be of crucial significance for Raguzzini's later career. Several churches in Benevento are attributed to Raguzzini.

Once Benedict XIII was elected, Raguzzini moved to Rome and commenced a meteoric rise to the top of the papal architectural establishment. Official honours were lavished on him from as early as 1725, when he was made a Knight of the Golden Spur; in February 1727, he was elected an accademico di merito of the Accademia di San Luca. The pope's patronage saw Raguzzini ultimately serve in almost every major public architectural office in the city. The most significant posts he held were those in which he supplanted the much older and highly respected Roman architect, Alessandro Specchi. The most significant projects executed in Rome by Raguzzini during Benedict's reign were the construction of the Ospedale di San Gallicano in Trastevere (1724-26), the erection of the church of Santa Maria della Quercia near the Palazzo Spada (1727-31) and the systematisation of Piazza Sant'Ignazio (1727-35).

When Benedict his patron died in 1730, Raguzzini's fortunes took a turn for the worse, when the coterie of Beneventans brought to Rome by the pope were purged. His output from the mid-1730s onward is very small.