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Rome Reports

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Rome celebrates 350th anniversary of revolutionary architect Francesco Borromini


The Vatican Museums, the National Academy of San Luca and Sapienza University are celebrating the 350th anniversary of the death of Francesco Borromini, an important Italian architect who revolutionized the Roman aesthetic. 

Borromini transformed architectual concept and classical rules to create a free and personal style with a great versatility and artistic vitality. Therefore, some architects describe him as “the major corrupter of architecture.”

LUCA RIBICHINI
Sapienza University (Rome)

“His great skill was looking at the past – absorbing everything possible in terms of order, shape, lines – and later creating a new order, a new way to give shape to these objects, which clearly reflects his eclecticism.”

Borromini demonstrated a great passion for design, which can still be seen in smooth architecture that combines spirals with straight lines and curves.  

TIZIANA D'ACCHILLE
Rome Academy of Fine Arts

“It meant a positive alteration to urban planning, but, above all, to shapes – those unusual shapes that can insert themselves into a mannerist aesthetic that, although they don't end up corresponding to it, give an idea of the style's glorification. Rome is a Baroque city, and Borromini is a main figure of the Baroque Rome.”

Borromini worked for many religious congregations and orders and became friends with Pope Innocent X, who was his supporter. Among his most characteristic works are the Borromini Gallery in Palazzo Spada, the restoration of St. John Lateran and St. Paul Outside the Walls and an abandoned expansion project of Palazzo Pamphili in Piazza Navona.

The Vatican Museums, Sapienza University and the National Academy of San Luca are preparing a major international congress, an exhibition and a photography contest to study this revolutionary thought that has so greatly influenced the Baroque architecture of Rome.