The Design of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane Analysis

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Francesco Borromini

San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane and besides called San Carlino was a church that designed by designer Francesco Borromini.It was the first independent committee of Francesco Borromini in 1634. San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane is the first chef-d’oeuvre of Francesco Borromini.Francesco Borromini ( 1599-1667 ) he arrived in Rome and worked as a stonemason at the St Peter site when his mid-twentiess. ]He started affect himself in the of import architectural undertaking in Rome after he working on some of the sculptural undertaking in Saint Peter’s Basilica.He keen in learn the ruins of Antiquity and the architecture of Michelangelo.

His ain alone manner was influenced the architecture of the Europe and do him go a limelight of the designer in Baroque architecture. He finish a batch of architecture in his life, like San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Oratory of Saint Philip Neri, Sant’ Ivo alla Sapienza, Sant’ Agnese in Agone and The Re Magi Chapel of the Propaganda Fide. In 2 August 1667, he stop his life by his ego.The Francesco Borromini’s manner can be show on one of his celebrated architecture that is the church San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane.

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San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane

]The committee of it was given on 1634. It have non finished until 1682.It located between the intersection of the street Via Quattro Fontane and Via del Quirinale and do the church is become a “L” form. It have a really limited infinite for Borromini to plan. There got four of the fountain at the intersection of the street Via Quattro Fontane and Via del Quirinale. One of the fountain is located at the side of the facade. It make the church go more outstanding and more powerful on the street.

San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane contain the church, monks’ life quarters, refectory and religious residence and a courtyard. Because of the church is little in the size, the church are besides know every bit Small St Charles’ at the Four Fountain. San Carlo alle go one of the chef-d’oeuvre of the Baroque design because of the bold design of Borromini in the 17Thursdaycentury.

Construction History

The Spanish Discalced Trinitarians is the proprietor of the church. The intent of the Trinitarians is to redeem the Christian that take the captive by the Muslim plagiarists and slaveraider during the war clip. At the start of 17Thursdaycentury, they start to put about initiation of house at Rome. They find a topographic point on the corner of the Quirinal tro construct a impermanent chapel for St Charles Borromeo. There got an communion table in the impermanent chapel and the chapel is unfastened in 1612.

In the building of the San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, the most serious job that face by the mendicants is the money. They tried difficult to go on the undertaking of the church until they found a frequenter in Cardinal Francesco Barbarini. Cardinal Francesco Barbarini. He was promised to pay to the mendicants to go on the undertaking.

In 1634, 22 twelvemonth after get downing, the mendicants appoint a non celebrated designer that is Francesco Borromini because he was non claim for any refund. In 1593, Pope of Sixtus V was committee the Quattro Fontane at the Via Pia. So the fountain is already at that place when the church building start.

Because of the cross subdivision of the roads make the convent become oblique. The limited infinite of the convent go the first challenge for the immature designer, Francesco Borromini. The success the San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane demo how superb of Francesco Borromini in the Baroque architecture. The beginning of the building of the convent and the church was faster, but it does non complete until the designer, Francesco Borromini died. Borromini was get down the convent block instantly and get down usage by the mendicants in 1635.

In 1636, the religious residence was completed. The building of the church was began on 1638 and stalled on 1641.A impermanent belfry is build up on 1643 by Borromini.Before the facade start, the belfry was forced to be stopped because of they are deficiency of the money. The unfinished church is begin use on 1646. After another 22 old ages, the mendicants are able to go on the undertaking. 1665, Borromini was started to making the facade, but he pass off in 1667 by committed self-destruction.

After the decease of the Borromini, Bernardo Castelli Borromini, nephew of Borromini are take over his occupation. Bernardo Castelli Borromini was follow his uncle’s programs to complete the occupation that leave over by him that is the lasting belfry and the facade.The lasting belfry was built in 1670 and get down to construct the facade in 1674. The construction of the edifice was finished in 1677. After that they build the sculptural ornament in the edifice and it were non really finish until now.

The Layout of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane

San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane is a edifice that combine a batch of the portion. Inside the edifice got a batch of portion like the church, the religious residence, the refectory and a crypt. In the layout program of the edifice, the church was located at the North of the edifice, refectory that including residence hall to the monastic and a library at above was located at the East of the edifice and a rectangular form religious residence at the Southwest of the edifice. On the layout program, the church was a rhombus form with rounded corners. The program was design based on two same equilibrium trigon that combine together with a circle inside the trigon each to organize the egg-shaped form that dominate the program.

The egg-shaped form dome was become the accent of the church and it was underline by the rim of the dome and floor form of the church. The brilliant of the double ordination of the church and the religious residence were show the organisational accomplishment of Borromini. To back up the edifice Borromini was utilizing eight set of mated columns in rippling wall of the church and six set of paired of column in the religious residence. There have no any corner columns that utilizing to keeping the heavy colonnade.

Base on the entryway of the church, consecutive in front is the apsis of the chief communion table of the church. The subordinate communion table at the right side is dedicated to St Michael de Sanctis and the left is St John Baptist.

The Interior Design of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane

The Design of the Church

The ruling coloring material of the Church is white and it was full with the natural sunshine. Eight set of brace of the composited order column was used to back up the high entablature. The church is incorporating a chief communion table and two of the subordinate communion table. The subordinate communion table at right side is dedicated to St Michael de Sanctis and the left is St John Baptist. ]The program was ellipse to make four irregular infinites and two of the infinites are little chapels. Pierre Mingnard is the painter that executed the high communion table painting St. Carlo Borromeo contemplates the Holy Trinity.

In the church, many of the symbol of the Trinitarian order can establish. The composing of the symbol of the Trinitarian order is a ruddy vertical and a bluish horizontal saloon. The Tabernacle, forepart of the communion table and on the Trinitarian wont have the symbol of the Trinitarian order.

At the door that located on the side of the chief communion table, its sculpture in the niches are the Sts. Jean de Matha and Felix de Valois. Because of the seventeenth century painter Giuseppe Milanese, three of the devotional pictures ( 1653 ) is set at the bantam chapel at the right side of the entryway. The Trinitarian St. Miguel de los Santos ( 1591-1625 ) is dedicate at the right subordinate communion table.

 The dome

For the exterior design of the dome, it is an egg-shaped membranophone form. On the dome, it has four octagon window to let the natural visible radiation to travel into the church. On the stupa of the dome, it has a lantern that seem like the mausoleum on three homocentric measure. It has four brace of the Doric column to back up the dome. The Doric column has a little narrow-headed window on the wing. The dome is the accent of the inside of the church. The dome is support by the three semi-domes.The semi-dome is support by three communion table apsiss and the communion table apses is decorate by the rose form.

At the entryway Borromini was placed a broad arch. The intrados is coffering with a individual line. With this manner the sunshine can direct travel in by the big window in the facade. That is besides the lone direct sunshine of the church. The abbreviated pendentives is placed by Borromini in between the arches. The tondi with stucco alleviations by Giuseppe and Giulio Bernasconi can establish in the pendentive of the arches. It show the exemplifying scenes from the Trinitarian order.

In this church, there is no membranophone to the dome. It straight on the valance. The four octangular window on the dome is merely above the valance to acquire the sunshine into the church.There are acanthus leaf finals on the projecting foliage in different size, big and little. There got the Trinitarian cross on the big acanthus foliage. The form of the dome of the church is complicated. It from by utilizing the crossing of the octagons and squashed hexagons. It complicated of the dome was make the church become celebrated until now.

The missive that design on the dome is similar with the facade: Sanctiss [ imae ] Trinitati Beatoq [ ue ] Carolo Borromeo D [ ivo ] An [ no ] Salvatoris ] MDCXI. A Trinitarian symbol can happen on the eye. The eye is gold in olour and have a Dove of the Holy Spirit in a trigon and a hexangular glorification. Borromini was borrow the form of the coffering of the dome from an ancient mosaic at Santa Costanza.

The Crypt

The crypt or subterraneous church was built with the same layout program with the chief church. It was a rhombus form with curve corner but the crypt was design in a more simple manner. Inside the crypt, there got a fresco portrayal of Jesus on the cross and the Virgin Mary and St. John at the side at the communion table niche to demo Crucifixion of the life of the people in eighteenth century. The fresco was in a bad status now twenty-four hours because of the moist incursion of the crypt. The crypt wall was painted in white coloring material and ruddy brick was used for the floor. There was nil inside the crypt like ornament and sculpture because they are run out of budget. So the crypt is non done until now.

The Religious residence

The religious residence is located at the right side of the church. It is a harmoniousness and capturing topographic point that have two floors.It is rectangle form in the program with arcades on all four side. An octangular is good in the garth. There is no works in the religious residence and surrounded by brick floor. At the first floor, the chamber design is in bowed and convex.

It flanked by a brace of Doric columns. There has an archway support by one member of these brace of column of the short terminal of the religious residence. There have a room access that connect to the street at the North of the religious residence and the other room access at the South of the religious residence is connected to the vestry. The trabeation is support by another brace of columns on each side. Twelve columns can be found at the land floor arcades. They is no room access at the west side of the religious residence.

At the 2nd floor, it have same figure of the column with the same place of the land floor. The columns at the 2nd floor is utilizing to back up a uninterrupted trabeated entablature unfastened to the sky. The bannisters on the paseos are alternately right in a design characteristic that same with the facade of the church.

The Exterior Design of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane


The facade was complete in 1667 by Borromini’s nephew, Bernardo because Borromini was pass off. There has two floor at the facade and three curved perpendicular zone. At the first floor, there have a concave-convex-concave zone. So the facade is snaky in program. the zones of the 2nd floor is all concave, waved form. The Three is show on the ternary perpendicular zonation of the facade. The 2nd floor is represent to the Eden. At the first floor of the facade at that place have four big Ionic column to back up a snaky entablature. The snaky entablature is decorate with a simple dedicatory lettering on the frieze: In honorem [ Sancti ] ss [ imae ] Trinitatis et D [ ivi ] Caroli MDCLXVII. The valance or the entablature is full with ornament. There have a high pedestal on the columns.

The floor is divide into six equal countries with three curving entablature fragment. The entablature fragment was support by six smaller derivative Composite semi-columns. The cardinal of the first floor is the lone entryway room access to the church. The side of the door have a big perpendicular ellipse window that same with the dome design and the window was enclosed. The caprine animal ‘s caput device with the Trinitarian cross is located at below.

At the upper portion of the room access have a statue of St Charles Borromeo and it was flanked by two angel caryatids. The angel was organize a false pediment to the facade. At the side of the entryway, there got a St Felix statue at the left and St John on the right.

The 2nd floor of the facade is besides separate into three portion with four columns. Although the figure of the column are same but the capitals are different. The concave entablature with rosettes on the projecting valance is support by a brace of the column. At the center of the 2nd floor have a big ellipse tondo that supported by two angel. Originally, A fresco of The Holy Trinity Crowning Our Lady by Pietro Giarguzzi of 1677 was want to put in the tondo but the program was cancel because of the disrepair of the church. Lapp with the first floor, three brace of little columns was used to back up the valance fragments.

The valance fragment was separate the 2nd floor to two portion, lower portion and upper part.There got a rectangle window at between the brace of the little column at the lower country of the 2nd floor. The center of the upper portion got a brace of angel that used to back up the tondo. The upper right N left side got a round tondo that have the Trinitarian cross with a moulded dentillate surrounded with palm-leaf.The concave design of the facade is more same with the religious residence.

The Campanile

The belfry stands on the Quattro Fontance on the exterior. The belfry was connected with the church and the crypt with the coiling stairway. Borromini was non really satisfactory with the design of the facade and the chamfered corner because of the apposition.[ 21 ]The belfry is non easy to demo to the street because it located at the high degree of the edifice.

Above the campinile have a rectangle window with a small triangular pendant raises over a wear motive. A bosom form tablet that contain the Trinitarian cross was cover by the angel’s wing. The construction of the belfry is square in the form and have four of the Doric column.A brace of the column is support the adorned entablature that are the trapezoidal pedestal.There has a gilded coloring material sphere on the belfry.

The Treatment of Light

Borromini was utilizing his cognition about the visible radiation in to the church. Borromini’s light intervention is use to bring forth a theatrical consequence. The natural visible radiation that came from the octangular window at the dome show the complicated design of the dome and the construction of the church. Borromini was use some rule to pull strings the visible radiation in the church. First, the light chamber. Borromini was use a infinite to command the light strength.The “grazing” light is utilizing the contemplation of natural light underscore the item and the texture of the surface. He besides utilizing some other accomplishment like sfumato consequence and optical sighting.


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