Ernesto Basile

Elegant interpretations of the Liberty and Art Nouveau styles, the buildings of the Palermo architect Ernesto Basile (1857 - 1932), constitute a unique heritage in the urban history of Palermo. From Villa Igiea to Villino Florio, Basile designed in the city some of the greatest residences of the Sicilian upper middle class, structures that draw parallels with the works of some international designers of the time, from Horta to Hoffman, from Mackintosh to Van de Velde. Appointed director of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo in 1897, Basile captured the European influences of modernist style, merging them with Sicilian tradition. An approach that is repeated in furnishings and fabrics destined for large clients such as hotels and ships: made in collaboration with Ducrot, the famous Palermo-based company of which Basile became artistic director in 1902, his furniture is the quintessence of what modernity is at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

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