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11/30/2016

Baroque Architecture

Oct-Nov 2016
History of Architecture 2nd year
Sushant School of Art and
Architecture
Faculty: Ms Parul G Munjal

Note: The presentation is not self sufficient,


it only supports the lecture delivery by
giving pictorial representation of the aspects
covered as a part of the lecture.

Emerged as a reaction to the artificiality of Mannerism


around 1590 (typically 17th century phenonmena)
Artists wanted to make art more life-like or natural
Italy, France, Spain and Flanders, Catholic countries
linked to Counter-Reformation (Council of Trent)
Means ornate, richly embellished
Involvement, interaction with the viewer
Dramatic, sensuous (appeals to the senses), diagonal
movement, asymmetrical compositions, strong
contrast of light and dark
Includes various approaches: Exuberant Baroque
(Bernini), Classical Baroque (relates to High
Renaissance art, classical antiquity with more drama)
and Naturalistic Baroque (Carragio, Netherlands)

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Can be defined by Style Wolfflin


Wolfflin declared that Baroque architecture
gravitated towards sculpture, and sculpture
towards painting. Conversely, architecture, with
the help of the free, everchanging substitute of
stage scenery, ended by building pictorial fantasies
and directing their most poetic forms of fancy.
(Stierlin, 1964, p. 14).
Renaissance: Baroque:
Linear Painterly
Closed Form Open Form
Plane Recession
Multiplicity Unity
Absolute Clarity Relative Clarity

The architects modified the significance of


painted and sculptured forms to gain their
assistance for construction of an architectural
spaceArchitecture is not an individual
phenomenon, but plays the part of a
framework, governing the plan. (Stierlin, 1964,
p. 14)

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Can be defined by Theme Martin


Naturalism
Seems real
Landscape
Still-life
Genre
Science
Vision and ecstasy
Emotion
Dramatic
Calm
Space
Vast, deep
Light
Symbol of infinite

Significant Architects
Bernini and Borromini (Rome)
Sir Christopher Wren (St. Pauls, England)
Vauban (Military engineering, France)
Rainaldi (S Maria-in-portico, Rome)
Bianco (The University, Genoa, Italy)
Guarini (S Lorenzo, Turin, Italy)

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Location of Baroque churches in Rome. Source: Stierlin, 1964, p. 49

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680)


Italian sculptor, architect, painter and worked
for theatre (special effects, playwright,
costumes, sets, actor) surprise and delight
the viewer
Baroque exuberance, catholic exuberance
Marble cut like wax for Bernini
- Baldinucci

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Piazza San Pietra (1656-57)


Grand entrance to Popes church
Spacious
Oval
Symbolism

Keplers idea of the elliptical orbits and emergence of oval in


architecture
According to Bernini, the Piazza represents the embracing arms of
the Mother Church

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Bernini meant to surprise and delight


Proposed the Third arm that was never built
In 20th century, Mussolini created the great
highway that comes down and connects to the
Piazza (spoilt the surprize)

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Sant Andrea al Qurinale (1658-61)


The main faade of the church
faces onto the Via del Quirinale
SantAndrea is set back from the
street and the space outside the
church is enclosed by low curved
quadrant walls. An oval cylinder
encases the dome, and large
volutes transfer the lateral thrust.
The main faade to the street has
an aedicular pedimented frame
at the center of which a
semicircular porch with two Ionic
columns marks the main
entrance. Above the porch
entablature is the heraldic coat of
arms of the Pamphili patron.

Inside, the main entrance is


located on the short axis of
the church and directly
faces the high altar. The
oval form of the main
congregational space of the
church is defined by the
wall, pilasters and
entablature, which frame
the side chapels, and the
golden dome above. Large
paired columns supporting
a curved pediment
differentiate the recessed
space of the high altar from
the congregational space.

Source: Stierlin, 1964

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Francesco Borromini (1599-1667)


A keen student of the architecture
of Michelangelo and the ruins of Antiquity
Style: inventive and distinctive, somewhat
idiosyncratic
Architecture employing manipulations of Classical
architectural forms, geometrical rationales in his
plans and symbolic meanings in his buildings.
He seems to have had a sound understanding of
structures, which perhaps Bernini and Cortona,
who were principally trained in other areas of the
visual arts, lacked.

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Gallery of Perspective, Palazzo Spada


masterpiece of forced
perspective optical illusion in the
arcaded courtyard

Diminishing rows of columns and a


rising floor create the visual illusion of
a gallery 37 meters long (it is 8
meters) with a life-size sculpture at
the end of the vista, in daylight
beyond: the sculpture is 60 cm high.

Borromini was aided in his perspective


trick by a mathematician.

San Carlo alla Quattro Fontane (1638)

Means Saint Charles at


the Four Fountains
Undulating Faade
Undulating oval plan
Oval dome with complex
coffers

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Sant Agnese, Piazza Navona (1653)

Faces onto the Piazza Navona,


one of the main urban spaces in
the historic centre of the city
Construction began in 1652
under the architects Girolamo
Rainaldi and his son Carlo
Rainaldi. After numerous
quarrels, the other main architect
involved was Francesco
Borromini.
He positioned columns towards
the edges of the dome piers
which had the effect of creating a
broad base to the dome
pendentives instead of the
pointed base which was the usual
Roman solution

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He designed curved steps descending to the piazza, the convex


curvature of which play against the concave curvature of the faade
to form an oval landing in front of the main entrance. His faade was
to have eight columns and a broken pediment over the entrance. He
designed the flanking towers as single storey, above which there was
to be a complex arrangement of columns and convex bays with
balustrades. Post 1657, Rainali and Berninis modifications executed

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Source: Stierlin, 1964

Sant Ivo alla Sapienza (1642-60)


Borromini merged a curved
facade of the church with the
courtyard of the 14th century
palace

A courtyard, known as the


courtyard of Giacomo della
Porta leads to the entrance of
Sant'Ivo. Arguably, the courtyard
and surrounding edifice framing
San'Ivo serve to create a separate
dimension inside the alley where
the towering dome above the
faade of the church is the
dominating focus point granting
the building a form of captivating
power via the focus the alley
provides.

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The faade of San Ivo alla


Sapienza is concave, molding
the church into the alleyway
as if completing it rather than
disrupting it

Novel corkscrew lantern

Based on the Star


of David/ Star of
Solomon

The overlap of a
circle on two
superimposed
equilateral
triangles creates a
basis for a
hexagonal array
of chapels and
altar in a
centralized
church

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The undulations, both concave


and convex of the interiors, create
a jarring yet stunning appeal
The interior of Sant'Ivo is unique
because of the shapes
incorporated into the rotunda
Borromini utilized curves (semi-
circles) and edges (clipped
triangle tips) in equal amounts to
define the shape of the rotunda.
This blending of edges and curves
is arguably Borrominis most
distinguishable signature.
Windows associated with the
round sections of the dome are
larger than those associated with
the edges

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References
Stierlin, H. (1964), Architecture of the World:
Baroque, Benedikt Taschen Verlag GmbH,
Lausanne, Switzerland.
Toman, R., Borngaser, B, & Bednorz, A.
(2008a), Baroque and Rococo, History of
Architecture: From Classic to Contemporary,
Parragon Inc, Bath, pp. 182-225.

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