Cemetery of San Cataldo, Modena, Italy, Plan
Aldo Rossi, Gianni Braghieri

Ink, color ink, and graphite on tracing paper
23½ x 29¾"

Aldo Rossi designed the Cemetery of San Cataldo for a 1971 competition that called for an extension to the adjacent nineteenth-century Costa Cemetery. Rossi's design of this important project is rooted in an Enlightenment typology of the cemetery as a walled structure set on the outskirts of a town. While based on a large communal structure, the form of the cemetery recalls the basic elements of a house. It is, however, a "house for the dead," where roofless walls and rooms, and open doors and windows, have been designed for those who no longer need the protection of a shelter. In the aerial perspective drawing, Rossi employed conventions of perspective developed in the fifteenth century and used an aerial view to give a sense of the cemetery in both plan and elevation. These strategies, combined with his use of elemental forms and color, construct a visual passage through the drawing that corresponds to a journey through the cemetery itself, presenting a road toward abandonment in which time seems to stand still. —MoMA

Aldo Rossi (1931– 1997) was an Italian architect and designer who achieved international recognition in four distinct areas: architectural theory, drawing and design and also product design. He was one of the leading exponents of the postmodern movement. He was the first Italian to receive the Pritzker Prize for architecture. —Wikipedia

(Photo: MoMA & ArchEyes)