four rivers fountain

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Model for the Four Rivers Fountain, Piazza Navona, Rome, c. 1650, Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna

the baroque in rome

Although baroque architecture emerged almost simultaneously in the capital cities of Italy and France, Rome is usually regarded as its place of birth. During the early decades of the seventeenth century Rome witnessed a surge of building activity supported to a large extent by the popes. Churches, fountains, and palaces were erected throughout the city, transforming and animating its urban spaces. First appearing in the innovative designs of Carlo Maderno, and further developed in the works of Pietro da Cortona, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and Francesco Borromini, Roman baroque architecture inspired the design of buildings in Europe for more than a century. By considering the relationship between new and existing structures, architects sought to give urban spaces a new sense of unity, coherence, and dynamism. The careful integration of architecture with its surroundings is magnificently demonstrated in Bernini's Four River's Fountain, among the most spectacular monuments of the baroque era in Rome.

next section churches and chapels

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