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Born 1634 in Brusiate, Switzerland; died Feb. 5, 1714, in Rome. Late baroque Italian architect.
Circa 1656, Fontana went to Rome, where he studied with L. Bernini. Also influential in Fontana’s artistic development was F. Borromini. Fontana’s work combines love for dramatic effects with harmonious balance and tectonic totality. It greatly influenced the development of the increasingly classical trend in 18th-century European architecture. Fontana wrote numerous works on architecture, architectural archaeology, and civil engineering.