2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Heroes and Villains in Baroque Rome: A Formal Comparison of the Architecture of Borromini and Bernini
Emily K. Hagen
Dr. Julia DeLancey, Dr. Sara Orel, and Dr. Cole Woodcox, Faculty Mentors

Since the seventeenth century, architects Francesco Borromini and Gian Lorenzo Bernini have been cast in scholarship as bitter rivals, whose opposite personalities foreshadow their remarkably contrasting architecture. The archetypal characterization of Borromini as the unfortunate, enigmatic antihero to Bernini's heroic celebrity has perpetuated a belief that Borromini's architecture diverged radically from contemporary expectations. However, a contextual analysis and formal comparison of Borromini's San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane and Bernini's Sant'Andrea al Quirinale reveal that these architects were in fact working within similar societal limitations. Situated within a broader study of Borromini, this paper juxtaposes the two architects, their respective churches, and their characteristic approaches to architectural composition in order to demonstrate that, ultimately, both designs were similarly shaped by societal expectations in order to express the splendor and exaggeration of Baroque Rome.

Keywords: architecture, Borromini, Bernini, Rome

Topic(s):Art - Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 106-2
Location: OP 2210
Time: 8:15

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