Fanzago’s Commission as Royal Chief Engineer.



Storia dell’arte  [26] | Gennaio – Aprile 1976

Fred Brauen

Fanzago’s Commission as Royal Chief Engineer.

In a decree signed at Madrid on 24. January 1645 Cosimo Fanzago, then at the height of his career, was named chief engineer of the kingdom of Naples by the king. This is curious because Fanzago, throughout his long career seems to have had no connection whatever with the royal corps of engineers, and because there was at the time an active chief engineer in Naples, appointed earlier by the king, and whose existence and incumbency were completely overlooked — perhaps purposely — in the commission to Fanzago.
A few years ago the indefatigable Franco Strazzullo published several documents of 1645-46 in which Onofrio Antonio Gisolfo, at the time chief royal engineer of Naples, addressed to the viceroy a spirited defense of his work. Adducing his qualifications and accomplishments, and citing his experience and length of service, Gisolfo charged that Fanzago had attempted to suborn the Council of Italy, the governing body for Naples, Sicily, and Milan, in Spain, to obtain the commission as chief engineers.

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