May 17, 2014

Battle of the Baroque

Walking around Piazza Navona it's possible to admire one of the most popular rivalry in the history of the art, a real "Battle of the Baroque", between Bernini and Borromini, the Italian baroque's most famous bitter rivals. While Bernini (1598-1680) was an ebullient, urbane player - he seduced the pope's niece to nab the commission for the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of Four the Rivers) in Piazza Navona - Borromini (1599-1667) was neurotic, reclusive and tortured. Despite getting his break in Rome working in Bernini's studio, Borromini looked down on his contemporary's lack of architectural training and formale stone-carving technique. No love was lost: Bernini believed Borromini "had been sent to destroy architecture". Centuries on, the rivalry lives on in the works they left behind in Rome, especially their creations in Piazza Navona: the Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers and the Borromini's Church Sant'Agnese in Agone. If you look our photo you can note the Bernini's fountain-figures are poised as if looking in horror at the inferior creation of Borromini, Church Sant'Agnese

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