Friday, 7 February 2014

ROME / ROMA - UNIT 15 MAP - 21 to 30

Map by Mike Aling


S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini


'After various projects had been submitted in 1518 the church was actually started in 1520 to the design of Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. After the Sack of Rone building stopped...In 1559 Michaelangelo submitted plans for a centralized building, but these were not executed and in 1583 work was resumed under Giacomo della Porta on the original Latin Cross plan.'

Blunt, A., 1982. Guide to baroque Rome. St. Albans. Granada. p50

Killing himself badly, Borromini, now a dead man but alive for two more days, wrote:

'I have been wounded like this since about half past eight this morning and I will tell you how it happened. I had been feeling ill since the feast of the Magdalene [22 July] and had not been out on account of my illness except on Saturday and Sunday when I went to S. Giovanni [dei Fiorentini] for the Jubilee. Last night the idea came to me of making my will and writing it out with my own hand, and I began to write it about an hour after supper and I went on writing with a pencil till about three in the morning. Messer Francesco Massari my young servant ... who sleeps in the room next door to look after me and had already gone to bed, seeing that I was still writing and had not put out the light, called to me, 'Signor Cavaliere, you ought to put out the light and go to sleep because it is late and the doctor wants you to sleep.' I replied that I should have to light the lamp again when I woke up and he answered: 'Put it out because I'll light it again when you wake up'; and so I stopped writing, put away the paper on which I had written a little and the pencil with which I was writing, put out the light and went to sleep. About five or six I woke up and called to Francesco and told him to light the lamp, and he answered: 'Signor, no'. And hearing this reply I suddenly became impatient and began to wonder how I could do myself some bodily harm, as Francesco had refused to give me a light; and I remained in that state till about half past eight, when I remembered that I had a sword in the room at the head of the bed, hanging among the consecrated candles, and, my impatience at not having a light growing greater, in despair I took the sword and pulling it out of the scabbard leant the hilt on the bed and put the point to my side and then fell on it with such force that it ran into my body, from one side to the other, and in falling on the sword I fell on to the floor with the sword run through my body and because of my wound I began to scream, and so Francesco ran in and opened the window, through which light was coming, and found me lying on the floor, and he with others whom he had called pulled the sword out of my side and put me on the bed; and this is how I came to be wounded.'


Borromini is buried under the dome.


Oratorio dei Filippini


Francesco Borromini 1637-1650

'The facade provides a summary of Borromini's characteristics of innovations style, both austere and technically rigorous. The main body is divided into five parts by pilasters following a concave curve. In the central part, a dialectic set appears between the lower level, whose curve moves outward. At the top, the tympanum, created for the first time after an mistiligne angle, accentuates the both curved and angular movement.'

If you want to know Francesco Borromini's thoughts on architecture, and you should want to: 'Borromini's Book, "The Full Relation of the Building" of the Roman Oratory, by Francesco Borromini and Virgilio Spada of the Oratory' Translated with a commentary by Kerry Downes is wonderful.


Oratorio dei Fillipini


S. Maria della Pace

'As a result of Alexander VII's interest the church became fashionable, particularly because it was possible to attend Mass there in the afternoon. On the other hand the approach to the church was difficult. The street leading to the front of the church from S. Tommaso in Parione was narrow and those on either side of the church were worse. That on the east passing below the apse of S. Maria dell'Anima would not admit a coach at all - and coaches had become de rigeur with the roman nobility by the mid 17th century - and that on the left allowed passage for one, but not two, which led to quarrels over precedence. By pulling down some houses Cortona was able to make a symmetrical piazza of unusual shape which made a fine approach to the church and allowed room for the turning of coaches, and he produced a design which brought the church and the adjoining streets into a single architectural unit.'

NB Cloister is by Donato Bramante

Blunt, A., 1982. Guide to baroque Rome. St. Albans. Granada. p103

drawings & photo


S. Agnese in Agone

Francesco Borromini
'In April 1653, as a result of the severe criticism which had been levelled at the design of the church, Girolamo Rainaldi resigned and the work was left in the hands of his son. In June, however, after some complicated manoeuvring, Carlo was replaced by Borromini.
By the time Borromini took over the interior had nearly reached the top of the pier niches and the façade had risen to a height of ten feet. Borromini had the façade pulled down and his final plan involved important changes: a concave façade enclosing a flight of oval steps and whole columns added at the corners of the main piers in the interior.'
Blunt, A., 1982. Guide to baroque Rome. St. Albans. Granada. p3-4


S. Ivo della Sapienza

'This is Borromini's boldest and most inventive building. All the features present in his earlier church of S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane are here developed and given more mature expression. The church is brilliantly designed to fit between the two existing blocks. The plan is formed by the intersection of two equilateral triangles. These form a six-pointed star (of Wisdom) and a central hexagon to each side of which a bay is added. Three of these are semi-circular, and the other three are triangles with their points cut off by convex arcs of circles drawn with the points of the basic triangles as centres. The structure of the building follows this plan up to the top of the dome, producing the effect of uniformity instead of the three stages of S. Carlino. In this scheme there is one small variation, carefully concealed. In the triangular bays the convex parts are continued up to and including the entablature, but above the windows the vault emerges concave, the change being concealed by the neutral character of the window, neither convex nor concave...The decoration of the dome includes the monti, stars and oak trees of Alexander VII's arms, but there are probably allusions to the Temple of Solomon in the palms, cherubim and pomegranates (the last in the capitals of the pilasters)...
...The exterior, designed to make a striking climax to the court in which the church stands, consists of a cylindrical element of six convex bays, which looks like the drum of the dome but in fact encloses the cupola and contains the solid masonry which takes the lateral thrust of the dome (the site did not allow space for buttressing). Above this is a convex stepped zone (cf. the Pantheon) up which run concave buttresses, ending in Ionic volutes supporting balls, a motif borrowed from Michaelangelo's Porta Pia. The lantern consists of a series of concave bays between coupled columns, like some late antique 'temples' in reconstructions by Montanus (whether Borromini knew drawings of the circular temple of Baalbek is a matter of speculation, see Blunt, p. 39). Above this comes a spiral ramp reminiscent of a ziggurat, the symbolical meaning of which has led to even more speculation than the interior of the church.'
Blunt, A., 1982. Guide to baroque Rome. St. Albans. Granada. p67-8

The Pantheon


Pulcino della Minerva


Sant' Ignatzio di Loyola


Santa Maria Maggiore

'Vertical panorama showing the ciborium (canopy), high altar and crypt below it. Photo © Till Niermann.'

'Founded in the 4th century, the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica of Saint Mary Major) is one of the five great ancient basilicas of Rome. Its 18th-century exterior conceals one of the best-preserved Byzantine interiors in the city.'


S. Pietro in Montorio & Bramante's Tempieto

1:15 scale model of the Tempieto in the V&A Architecture Gallery
All photographs by Unit 15. Unless they aren't