Happy Birthday Borromini! Baroque architect Francesco Borromini was born on 25 September 1559 in Bissone near Lake Lugano. He trained in Milan at the cathedral workshop and moved to Rome in 1619 where he remained for the rest of his career. Renowned for his inventive architectural design and rivalry with Gianlorenzo Bernini, Borromini’s Roman churches epitomize the High Baroque with their spectacular, theatrical, and organic designs, like those for San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane and Sant’Ivo. Other important projects include the Oratory of S. Filippo Neri, the Lateran Basilica, the Palazzo Barberini, and Sant’Agnese in Agone (after 1652) opposite Bernini’s Four Rivers Fountain (1651) in Piazza Navona.
For more on Borromini, see Peter Stein. “Borromini, Francesco.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web.
Further reading: Borromini by Anthony Blunt (1979); The Genius in the Design: Bernini, Borromini, and the Rivalry That Transformed Rome by Jake Morrissey (2006)
Portrait of Francesco Borromini by unknown Italian artist
San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Rome, facade and interior cupola
Sant’Agnese, Piazza Navona, Rome