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Study Aid 3: Creating the Miraculous: Baroque Architecture
and Urbanism in Italy

As we have seen, artists and architects began to abandon the simplicity and idealism of the High Renaissance in favor of the greater freedom and experimentation characterized by Mannerism. Mannerism in turn led to the full-blown sensuousity, complexity and daring of the Baroque. The Baroque is distinguished by its love of theatricality, movement and plasticity. Three designers in Rome were primarily responsible for bringing the Baroque to its maturity, and their influence would spread throughout European culture. Gianlorenzo Bernini, like Michelangelo before him, was the foremost artist of his century--accomplished in many areas of endeavor, especially sculpture, e.g. the Cornaro Chapel (in St. Maria della Vittoria), Rome, 1645-52; and the Baldacchino, St. Peter's, Rome, 1624-33. His architectural works include: San Andrea al Quirinale, Rome, 1658-76; the Scala Regia, Vatican, 1658-71; and the unexecuted project for the Louvre, Paris, 1664. Francesco Borromini was Bernini's leading competitor. Although he never acheived Bernini's fame, his designs displayed an unparalleled spatial complexity, e.g. San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (aka San Carlino), Rome, 1634-40, facade after 1665; Sant' Ivo della Sapienza, 1642-60. Pietro da Cortona was the final member of this great Roman Baroque trio. His works include: Santa Maria in via Lata, Rome, 1656-9; Santa Maria in Via Lata, Rome, 1658-.

Other architects built on the accomplishments of these three Roman designers and created buildings throughout Italy that were increasingly complex and plastic. In Northern Italy, designers such as Guarino Guarini (and later Bernardo Vittone) and adopted Borromini's taste for complex and/or fluid plans. Guarini combined Borromini's spatial innovations with a sense of Gothic lightness and structural exhibitionism, e.g. Cappella della SS. Sindone, Turin Cathedral, 1667-90; San Lorenzo, Turin, 1668-80, erected as a shrine to hold the Holy Shroud of Turin.

Baroque Planning
Like the planning efforts of the Renaissance, most planning efforts during the Baroque period were limited attempts at redesigning relatively small parts of the city. However, these works sometimes posses a grandeur or variety that is original as well as inspiring, e.g. the Piazza for St. Peter's, Rome, 1656-67, commissioned by Pope Alexander VII, Bernini architect; Piazza Navona, Rome, fountains by Bernini, 1647-55; the "Spanish Steps," Rome, 1723-28, Allesandro de Sanctis architect; Piazza di S. Ignazio, Rome, 1727, Filippo Raguzzini architect; and the Trevi Fountain, Rome, 1732-62, Nicola Salvi architect. The most significant and influential planning effort of the Italian Baroque was the Plan for the Redevelopment of Rome, designed by Domenico Fontana under the direction and patronage of Pope Sixtus V, 1585-90. The plan involved the building of new aqueducts and piazzas. Most importantly, new straight streets were cut through the city to tie the city's religious and historical monuments together and open new areas for development.


Cornaro Chapel

Date: 1645-1652
Location: Rome, Italy
Architect: Gianlorenzo Bernini
Patron: Cornaro Family

Side Elevation of Chapel with
Sculpted Figures of Cornaro Family

Interior View of Altar

Detail - St. Theresa in Ecstasy

Detail - St. Theresa in Ecstasy


San Andrea al Quirinale

Date: 1658-1676 AD
Location: Rome, Italy
Architect: Gianlorenzo Bernini

Plan

Interior View: Statue of St. Andrew

Interior View of Altar

Interior View of Dome


San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane

Date: 1634-1640, 1665-
Location: Rome, Italy
Architect: Francesco Borromini

Plan

Elevation

Exterior Detail

Interior View

Interior View of Dome


Sant' Ivo della Sapienza

Date: 1642-1660 AD
Location: Rome, Italy
Architect: Francesco Borromini

Plan of Church and College

Engraved Perspective View of the College

Engraved Section of the Church

Courtyard of the College in Front of the Church

Interior View

Interior View of Dome


Cappella della SS. Sindone

Date: 1667-1690 AD
Location: Turin, Italy
Architect: Guarino Guarini

Plan

Section

Turin Cathedral (1498) with Guarini's Chapel Added at the Rear

Staircase to Chapel

Interior View of Dome


Piazza for St. Peter's

Date: 1586
Location: Vatican - Rome, Italy
Patron: Alexander VII

Area in Front of St. Peter's During the Rebuilding (circa 1586) Before Construction of the Piazza


Date: 1656-1667
Location: Vatican - Rome, Italy
Architect: Gianlorenzo Bernini
Patron: Alexander VII

Aerial View

Engraved Perspective View Showing Bernini's Proposal for the Never-Built Third Part of the Colonnade

Colonnade

Rear of Colonnade

Interior of the Colonnade

Colonnade with Fountain


Trevi Fountain

Date: 1732-1762
Location: Rome, Italy
Architect: Nicola Salvi

Elevation

Detail

Detail

Detail

Detail

View of the Basin

Detail at the Basin

Detail at the Basin


Plan of Rome

Date: 1585-1590
Location: Rome, Italy
Architect: Domenico Fontana
Patron: Pope Sixtus V

Schematic Plan of Assorted Renaissance Alterations to the City

Sistine Library Painting of Plan

The Fontana Felice

The Via Sistina Looking Towards the Obelisk Placed in Front of S. Trinita dei Monti

Engraved Portrait of Sixtus V and the Works Undertaken During His Reign 1585-1590