Francesco Borromini

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Francesco Castelli
BirthplaceBissone, Ticino, Old Swiss Confederacy

Borromini, Francesco

Borromini, Francesco (fränchāˈskō bōr-rōmēˈnē), 1599–1677, major Italian baroque architect. His first independent commission (begun 1634) was San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Rome, one of the masterpieces of the Roman baroque. The church is noted for its undulating rhythm of architectural elements within a basically geometric plan. In 1642 he began the designs for Sant' Ivo della Sapienza, Rome, a dynamic hexagonal structure. He was also entrusted with the reconstruction of St. John the Lateran, as well as the completion of Sant' Agnese in the Piazza Navona and Sant' Andrea della Fratte. Borromini's innovations in palace as well as church design had a tremendous influence in Italy and northern Europe.


See studies by A. Blunt (1979) and Connors (1980).

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Borromini, Francesco

Italian Baroque architect who designed San Carlo Alle Quattro Fontane (Illus), in Rome, in 1638 to 1671, a church in which convex and concave wall surfaces are juxtaposed both on the facade and on the interior.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Borromini, Francesco


(or F. Borromino, pseudonym of F. Castelli). Born Sept. 25, 1599, in Bissone, Switzerland; died Aug. 3, 1667, in Rome. Italian architect.

Borromini went to school in Milan. His architecture was an expressive realization and original resolution of the principles of the Baroque period (above all, a concept of the dominance of irrational forces, typical of the Baroque Weltanschauung). Borromini’s works are distinguished by spatial mobility and the restless dynamics of elastic forms, which at times deprive the buildings of plastic wholeness. Borromini made free use of the classic order; typical of his constructions are curvilinear outlining of volumes, curved walls, varied combinations of convex and concave forms, and sharpened silhouettes of the crowning parts. With unrestrained imagination, Borromini created new decorative details and complicated construction plans. He designed the churches of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (1634–67), San Ivo alla Sapienza (1642–60), and Sant’Andrea delle Fratte (1656; facade, 1816); the facade of the Church of Santa Ag-nese in the Piazza Navona (1653–55); the Oratorio dei Filippine (1637–62); the Falconieri Palace (1639–41) and the Barberini Palace (1625–63; jointly with C. Maderna and L. Bernini); and other buildings in Rome. He enlarged Villa Falconieri in Frascati.


Portoghesi, P. Borromini nella cultura europea. Rome, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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La capilla mayor de Sao Bento y Francesco Borromini
Estos trabajos arquitectonicos eran desde luego de gran intensidad en aquellos primeros anos de su embajada romana, aunque no parece que aun contasen con la participacion del genial Francesco Borromini, quien entraria poco despues en la vida de don Manuel de Moura.
Don Manuel encargaria a un por entonces poco conocido Francesco Borromini el completo rediseno de su proyecto para Sao Bento en terminos de mayor riqueza y modernidad, aprovechando lo ya construido y revistiendolo segun el gusto de Roma.
Gracias a un nuevo documento aqui considerado, puede ahora afirmarse que con anterioridad el marques de Castel Rodrigo ya habia realizado reformas en el mismo palacio (54), estando tal vez al frente de las mismas, como propone Montijano, el gran Francesco Borromini.
Archival material from Francesco Borromini and Antonio da Sangallo the Younger joins an impressive and sometimes surprising array of contemporary examples, including intricate engineering drawings of the Large Hadron Collider.
For too long, the architectural accomplishments of Pietro Berrettini da Cortona (1597-1669), widely acknowledged as a leading painter and decorator in Rome (and Florence) from the 1630s-60s, have been eclipsed by the more spectacular achievements of his contemporaries, Gianlorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini. This situation is now rectified to a considerable extent by this handsomely produced and carefully researched volume.
In chapter 10, Merz convincingly connects (following a proposal by Elisabeth Kieven) a collection of drawings, including a ground plan by Francesco Borromini and a truly beautiful sheet depicting a central-plan church by Cortona with an aborted project for a Pamphilj family mausoleum at the Chiesa Nuova.3 From here, we proceed to a more complex and essentially archaeological chapter where Merz thoroughly (and once again, convincingly) examines the surviving traces--physical, visual, and documentary--for the now-destroyed nymphaeum and casino of the Sacchetti villa at Pigneto.
In the series of rooms set atop its fortified perimeter they could enjoy a smorgasboard of 17th-century artefacts ranging from architectural drawings by Francesco Borromini to the splendid Barberini harp, commissioned in 1624.
The Genius In The Design: Bernini, Borromini, and the Rivalry that Transformed Rome by Jake Morrissey (Duckworth, 20 [pounds sterling]) is the true story of the rivalry between two extraordinary men, the 17th-century architects Gianlorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini, and how their antagonism changed the city of Rome and created the Baroque.