sculptor and architect; b. December 7, 1598; d. November 28, 1680.
Bernini was the son of a Tuscan sculptor, working in Naples. His talent developed early. While still a youth, he made the beautiful group of "Apollo and Daphne" at the Villa Borghese, Rome, and the "Rape of Proserpina" at the Villa Ludovisi. In the reign of Urban VIII (Pope, 1623-1644) he made his earliest important work of architecture, the Baldacchino of S. Peter's in Rome. After the death of Carlo Maderna in 1629, Bernini succeeded him as architect of S. Peter's. He continued the construction of the Palazzo Barberini, Rome, begun by Maderna. The fašade and the staircase are ascribed to him. In 1642 he began the monument of Urban VIII at S. Peter's. During the reign of Innocent X (Pope, 1644-1655), Bernini appears to have suffered from the intrigues of his pupil Borromini, who superseded him as architect of S. Peter's. At this time he built the Capella Cornaro at the church of S. Maria della Vittoria, Rome, and the fountains of the Piazza Navona, of the Piazza Barberini, and of the Piazza di Spagna, Rome. Bernini's most appreciative patron was Alexander VII (Pope, 1655-1667), who made him architetto alia camera apostolica, a position which he held for the rest of his life. For him he built his most famous work, and one of the most successful monuments of modern architecture, the great colonnade of the Piazza of S. Peter's, Rome, and the Scala Regia at the Vatican. Bernini built the Palazzo Ludovisi and many other public and private buildings in Rome. He was requested by Colbert to make designs for the completion of the Louvre, and by letter of Louis XIV, dated April 11, 1665, was invited to Paris. Bernini was treated like a prince in France, but his design for the Louvre being inferior to that of Claude Perrault it was not executed, and he returned to Rome in the autumn. He made the monument of Pope Alexander VII in S. Peter's.
Francesco Borromino (Borromini) (the family name was originally Castelli )
architect and sculptor ; b. September 25, 1599; d. August 3, 1667.
His father, Giovanni Domenico Castelli, afterward called Borromino, was an architect in the service of the Visconti at Milan, Italy. Francesco studied sculpture at Milan and was first employed at Rome as a sculptor. He afterward entered the service of Carlo Maderna as draftsman. He was associated with Bernini in his work at S. Peter's and at the Palazzo Barberini. During the reign of Innocent X (Pope 1644-1655) he superceded Bernini as architect of S. Peter's. His earliest important building is the curious church of S. Carlo alle quattro fontane (1640-1667), a good example of the fully developed baroque style in Rome. He built also the cupola and other portions of the church of S. Agnese in the Piazza Navona. About 1650 Borromino built the cloister and oratory of S. Filippo Neri. He built the Palazzo Falconieri with the interesting loggia overlooking the Tiber. He remodelled the Palazzo Spada, where he designed the curious perspective corridor. All the works mentioned here are in Rome. Borromino died by suicide.