This year marks the 250th anniversary of the death of neo-classical architect Luigi Vanvitelli, designer of Italy's sumptuous Royal Palace of Caserta (Campania). Among the many events and commemorative initiatives, visitors can enjoy a new permanent exhibition dedicated to him in the renamed Sala Vanvitelli within the Royal Palace apartments

A special tribute comes from Italy's Treasury Ministry which has commissioned the Mint (Istituto Poligrafica e Zecca dello Stato) to issue a new series of two gold and one silver coin for collectors specially designed for the occasion, with the nominal values of 5, 10 and 20 euro.

Two of the coins feature a portrait of the maestro from the Accademia of San Luca by an unknown artist on the obverse while the reverses carry details of the works of art connected with the palace itself.

The 10 euro gold coin (2,000 pieces issued) is part of the Fountains of Italy series, launched by the Mint last year with the image of the Trevi Fountain. This coin is dedicated to the celebrated Fountain of Diana and Actaeon in the grounds of the Caserta Palace, and portrays the episode recounted in the classical legend of the goddess Diana and the hunter who surprises her bathing and is punished by being transformed into a stag.

The 20 euro gold coin (1,500 examples) features a cherubim from another Caserta fountain, dedicated to Venus and Adonis, with a glimpse of the palace facade in the background, while the 5 euro silver shows a detail of the Upper Vestibule of the Palace and the Stairway of Honour.

Contrary to what is generally thought, Luigi Vanvitelli was not Italian. He was of Dutch origin and his original family name was Van Wittel, subsequently Italianized. He died at Caserta on the 1st March 1773.

There are numerous commemorations planned throughout the years 2023-2024, so watch this space.



Posted on 10 Mar 2023 by Editor
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