Filippo d’Aglie overwhelmed by architecture

Monday 23rd October, 2023 - Bruce Sterling

*These huge baroque brick piles were his ultimate stage sets.

*One gets the feeling that he was imprisoned by them. Literally imprisoned — for a while, in France — but these megastructures seemed to accumulate around him wherever he went. The huge d’Aglie castle, that he built for his family out in the countryside, doesn’t make a lot of sense — it’s a white elephant. He wrote a book about the Villa of the Royal Madame, which he built and where he died, and it was published posthumously and doesn’t tell the truth about the structure. That’s a very puzzling book about a very peculiar building. I don’t understand his motives in writing that, if, indeed, he wrote it all. It feels more like a cover-up that an explanation.

*D’Aglie is known as an inventor of opera and ballet but he’s a figure of a lot of interest to technology artists — always busy with clever, outlandish and profoundly symbolic special-effects.