By Alexis Culotta 

Building the Baroque: Architect Francesco Maria Richini was born on 9 February 1584 in Milan. One of the most prolific architects of the 17th century, Richini enjoyed his most formative training in Rome. He exported the Roman architectural aesthetic back to his hometown of Milan, using these instilled ideals as inspiration for a wide range of novel works. 

In 1605, Richini was named capomaestro for projects relating to the Duomo of Milan, the first in a long series of impressive commissions for church facades and palazzo structures in and around city. He continued to enjoy professional acclaim throughout his career, accepting projects up until his death in 1654. Those tasks left unfinished were completed by his son, Gian Domenico, who followed in his father’s footsteps into the field of architecture.  

Further reading: “Richini, Francesco Maria.” (Encyclopedia Treccani)

Design for the Triumphal Arch at the Porta Ticinese in Milan, with the Imperial Arms of the Hapsburg and Allegorical Figures, 1633. Pen and ink over lead point on paper. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 

Façade for the Church of San Giuseppe, 1607-1630. Milan. 

Inner courtyard, Palazzo Brera, 1627-1628. Milan.

Villa Frisiani Mereghetti (renovated by Richini), Milan. 

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