About history Essay

The Baroque Architecture blossomed during the Baroque era that took place between the 16th and 17th centuries (Friedrich, 1952.). Baroque Architecture (BArch) consisted of a series of sensuality, naturalism and exaggeration which led to a special taste for “creating illusions by paintings” (John Pile and Judith Gura, A history of Interior Design, 2013",p.147) and sculptures. Moreover, architects used mathematical formulas to create an exotic structure that is large-scaled and often oval shaped.

This development was encouraged by the Catholic Church As suggested by John Pile and Judith Gura.(2013.p.g147) during the “counter-reformation era ” to eliminate and resolve the Protestant movement led by Martin Luther. after he posted his ninety-five theses on the church’s door which included a series of arguments primarily focusing on the selling of indulgence .

This incident gave the artists, sculptors, and architect the opportunity to shine through and to be identified as leading figures for that period. Therefore, creating intense competition among themselves. The most talented Italian architects at that time were “Gian Lorenzo Bernini a well-known sculptor” John Pile and Judith Gura. (2013.p.g148) who later on became an architect, followed by Francesco Borromini. Unlike Bernini's usages of different artistic media to achieve the desired realistic perspective in his work, As Thames and Hudson(1964",p.20) have argued Borromini preferred purely geometrical shapes and sculpture to achieve the illusions in his structure.

Thus, architecture led by these architects was very dramatic, colourful Thames and Hudson(1986).and much different from the architecture that of high Renaissance that was strictly formulated by Andrea Palladio based on the factors of harmony, symmetry, and balance John Pile and Judith Gura.(2013.p.g147) . The key feature that made the Baroque architecture outstand the high Renaissance architecture was the freedom of creativity which will later be discussed.

Discussing the different approaches of Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini to interiors and architecture

Introduction 2.1

Borromini’s style diverges from his famous contemporary counterpart Bernini substantially. Bernini saw architecture as a staging of experience and used theatricality and drama in his design to heighten the visitor’s emotional and spiritual response. Borromini, on the other hand, stretched the limits of classical architecture by distorting pure classical elements of high Renaissance to create dynamic, sculptural spaces. (By Prosvetova",20 October 2016)

San Andrea la Quirinal

Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) elevated the small church San Andrea la Quirinal to a monumental worship place. He manipulated the space intellectually by using the ‘ Giant order of Architecture’. He believed that being theatrical would heighten the architectural experience",conners (1982) so , he added numerous movements to the church by using curvilinear shapes.

Thames and Hudson (1964",p.12) stated that Bernini was “the most powerful evocative of the Society of Jesus” as his interior design carried his mission to draw attention to the uniqueness of Gods creation thus inspiring faith.

Bernini worked with rich material such as marble. He used it excessively in his work .as the visitor enters the church the marble floor paired with richly decorated Corinthian columns Harper and Row",(1978) invites the viewer's eye to the high altar where Bernini allowed his creativity to explore and expand the overall authentic of the church. He added fresco paintings surrounded by an earthly colour marble that made the painting a part of the architecture. Bernini used light to extenuate and bright up the church and so he builds a hidden window “ a lantern’ that lit up the high altar’ as if it were lit by theatrical light” Dr.Beth",(n.d) .in addition The elliptical dome florescent with a golden light creating an illusion if the holy spirit flying over

San Carlo Alle Quattro Fontane

similarly to Bernini’s situation with san Andrea church Borromini also lacked space As mentioned by John Pile and Judith Gura.(2013.p.g150) And as an architect, Borromini manipulated the space and used it to his advantage, creating a whole new shape yet still maintaining the key features of a church with the Alter sitting at the long axis.

Bernini approached this small space in an architect way he used mathematical figures and alined two triangles within a circle then drew a circle within those triangles thus creating this unusual shape then dividing it into a section of concave and convex shape with a perfectly oval-shaped dome placed on top John Pile and Judith Gura.(2013.p.g151) .

Borromini relied purely the architectural aspects to emphasise the structure, thus eliminating the used colour and instead focusing on geometry. The way the stone is carved detailed is crucially important to Borromini, for decoration he used geometrical shapes such as the Rosset, crosses hexagons and octagons.

He also paid huge attention to light as it plays an important part in creating the intensity and the drama by lighting and shading. John Pile and Judith Gura. (2013.p.g151)

He also borrowed classical elements and elevated them to his standards. he painted the interior white to maximise the light reflection.

As he focused on balancing the structure angulating lines in the bottom half to the pure oval on the upper half. another example would be the decorative elements within the church the Rosset were made different from one another yet perfectly symmetrical which gave the sense of balance.

Commenting on their influence

It's hard to say which architect was more influential as they both displayed an incredible usage of imagination and creativity thus creating a thrilling structure to inspire faith [ which was the goal at first]. interim of religious influential I believe that Bernini was more influential, I think this because he delivered hope and inspired faith within people his usage of imagery the realistic fresco creating a visual illusion that God is watching over left the viewer and people of that time feeling humble to Gods creation. In addition his use of colour the rich palate of earthly colour used at the bottom and golden and white the paradise colour used at the top i think it really emphasised the feeling of being in the presence of god this again inspiring faith thus succeeding at being influential in religious factors.

Borromini’s structure, on the other hand, was overpowering. In terms of structure, imagination and creativity, I think Borromini was better at delivering pure architectural concept, he created a strikingly different looking church. Bernini’s on the other hands looked a lot like pantheon on the exterior. Borromini used very fewer colours and yet his structure really had that wow facture due to his usage of geometry. However, in terms of faith inspiration, Borromini’s structure was overpowering representing God's power and his creation in nature.


Looking at both structure I had to divide the influential credit to two parts faith inspiration and pure architectural.

In terms of Architecture, I believe that his usage of colours overshadowed his technique and the authenticity of his architecture on its own.

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