Daily Rome Shot 113

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Jacques-Antoine Fierz says:

    This is San Carlo alle 4 Fontane (San Carlino). A little gem in Rome. The architect was Francesco (Castelli) Borromini, a “Swiss” architect (like Carlo Maderno, Domenico Fontana, Matteo Castello or Carlo Fontana) from Bissone. It is said that this church is as big as one of the pillars which soustains the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.

  2. teomatteo says:

    WowZee, i have never seen an oval dome. (I have gotta get outta Flint more often)

  3. jaykay says:

    teomatteo: there’s a very good book telling the story of the complicated relationship of the architect, Borromini, with the other outstanding architect (and sculptor) of the time, Bernini, which I’d thoroughly recommend. It’s called “The genius in the design: Bernini, Borromini and the rivalry that transformed Rome” (Jake Morrissey).

    In regard to the elliptical dome of San Carlo he says: “The dome is also an optical trick: the sizes of the shapes in it diminish as they get closer to the pinnacle, making the dome seem taller and deeper than it actually is. [It] was another visual trick Borromini employed to make the church seem larger and more imposing than its size would suggest.”

    He also explains that the Trinitarians, who commissioned it, acted as their own builders, thus saving money. Now if that’s not “getting the smell of the sheep” I don’t know what is! Also, Borromini took no fee, so the eventual cost worked out at 11,678 scudi, a snip at the time, apparently.

    [I warmly recommend Morrissey’s book. Anyone who has spent time or will do will benefit greatly from it.]

  4. jaykay says:

    As I thought: Fr. Z had recommended this book some time ago, which is when I got it (Kindle). The link is in this post from 2013:


  5. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    I don’t know which of Borromini’s masterpieces that I like more, San Carlo or Sant’Ivo.

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