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San Carlo Alle Quattro Fontane

Posted on Dec 10, 2009 | 0 comments

Learning about the work of Francesco Borromini was the first time I really got excited about architecture. Before that, I hadn’t really seen what exciting things could really be done in building construction, but Borromini’s innovative use of lines and curves really stood out to me. It’s been a long time coming, but I finally went this weekend to photograph my favorite Borromini church, San Carlo Alle Quattro Fontane, also known as San Carlino. His first major commission, he was to redo the interior space of this tiny church and did so to marvelous effect with the dome. Though the Baroque period was all about being lavish and over the top architecturally, often with a lot of gold gilding, etc, especially in interiors, what I appreciate about Borromini is that he creates drama with clean lines and simple shapes. The all white dome is “decorated” by interlocking geometric shapes that get smaller toward the top, thereby creating an illusion of further depth. The Holy Trinity is appropriately represented in the center of the cupola, with its windows letting in extra light. I overexposed my image purposely to let in a lot of light around the image of the Trinity. A great book in Borromini (and Bernini) is Jake Morrissey’s Genius in the Design, which gives good insight into their rivalry and the artistic climate in Rome during the 17th century.

San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane
via del Quirinale 23

Mon – Fri :
10.00 – 1.00 / 3.00 – 6.00

Sat:
10.00-1.00/Afternoon: closed

Sun:
12.00-1.00/Afternoon: closed (Mass at 11)

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