Borromini Colloquium in Einsiedeln

30 June-1 July 2019

Portrait of Francesco Borromini, frontispiece to Opera del Cav. Francesco Boromino, Cavata da Suoi Originali cioè L’Oratorio e Fabrica per l’Abitazione De PP. dell’Oratorio di S. Filippo Neri di Roma, ed. Sebastiano Giannini (Rome, 1725).
Source: Getty Research Institute / Internet Archive

Werner Oechslin (Stiftung Bibliothek Werner Oechslin / ETH Zürich) and Francesco Moschini (Accademia di San Luca, Rome) have organized a two-day colloquium on Francesco Borromini, his sources, and his architectural offspring. The event assembles many established and emerging Borromini scholars and features a special keynote address by Paolo Portoghesi.

I am looking forward to participating with my presentation, “Borromini and Guarini: The French Connection.” My talk examines Guarino Guarini’s adaptation of Borrominian motifs at his ill-fated church of Sainte-Anne-la-Royale in Paris, and the subsequent reception of this design by French architectural writers.

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Program

Sonntag, 30. Juni / Domenica, 30 giugno
1. Arbeitstag. Borromini und seine Architektur im Kontext / Primo giorno: Borromini e la sua architettura nel contesto

09.30 –12.00 Uhr / Ore 09.30–12.00

● Francesco Moschini / Werner Oechslin
Einführung, Hypothesen / Introduzione, Ipotesi

● Paolo Porthoghesi (Rom)
Prolusione inaugurale: L’architettura di Borromini

● Federico Bellini (Rom)
La SS. Sapienza: l’espressione visual e sonora del misterio trinitario

13.30 –18.00 Uhr / Ore 13.30–18.00

● Giuseppe Bonaccorso (Rom)
Borromini e i rapporti con amici, conoscenti e committenti: una chiave di comprensione del suo processo del fare

● Eleonora Gaudieri (Wien)
Alois Riegels „Entstehung der Barockkunst in Rom“

Kaffeepause

● Alina Aggujaro (Rom)
Bramante e Borromini: le due prospettive

● Alexander von Kienlin, Gunnar Schulz-Lehnfeld (Braunschweig)
„Aufgebrochene Schlingen und Ketten“ – zum Michelangiolesken in Borrominis Architektur

Montag, 01. Juli / Lunedì, 01 Luglio
2. Arbeitstag: Borromini und die Folgen: Geometrie, Entwurfsprozesse / Secondo giorno: Borromini e le consequenze: Geometria, procedure del disegno

09.30 –12.30 Uhr / Ore 09.30–12.30

● Susan Klaiber (Winterthur)
Borromini and Guarini: The French Connection

Kaffeepause

● Martin Raspe (Rom)
Il Calvino dell‘ Architettura? Borromini und die Doktrin vom rechten Winkel

● Werner Oechslin (Einsiedeln)
Borromini il Cartesio dell’Architettura und die (nachfolgende) Disziplinierung der Kurve

14.30 –18.00 Uhr/ Ore 14.30–18.00

● Daniel Tischler (Wien)
Synoptische Architekturzeichnungen Borrominis

● Richard Bösel (Tuscania) – Diskutant

● Torsten Tjarks (Bonn) – Diskutant

Kaffeepause

● Stefan Kummer (Würzburg)
Anmerkungen zur vermeintlichen ‚Kurvenfeindlichkeit‘ Balthasar Neumanns am Beispiel der Würzburger Residenz

● Sebastian Schütze – Diskutant

● Schlussdiskussion / conclusione

18.15 Uhr / Ore 18.15: Besichtigung der Klosterkirche Einsiedeln / Visita della abbazia di Einsiedeln

Venue

Stiftung Bibliothek Werner Oechslin
Luegetenstr. 11
8840 Einsiedeln

Attendance is free, but registration requested at info@bibliothek-oechslin.ch.

Download

Download the colloquium program as a PDF.

From my presentation, “Borromini and Guarini: The French Connection”

Carnival in Rome

Bartolomeo Pinelli, Il Carnevale in Roma, 1815. From: Nuova Raccolta di cinquanta costumi pittoreschi […], Plate 49.
Source: e-rara / ETH-Bibliothek

Carriages, Enormous Eye-Glasses, Strange Animals

Charles Dickens lived in Italy for eleven months in 1844-45. He wrote about his stay in the travelogue Pictures from Italy, published the year after his return to England. His vivid description of Carnival in Rome in the Pictures from Italy rivals Goethe’s famous account from nearly sixty years earlier. The amusing prints of the festivities by Bartolomeo Pinelli, dating midway between the two texts, perfectly capture details noted by both authors.

In the following excerpt, Dickens gives an impression of the range of costumes and customs seen in the streets during Carnevale:

“… the spectators at some upper balcony or window, joining in the fray, and attacking both parties, would empty down great bags of confetti, that descended like a cloud, and in an instant made them white as millers. Still, carriages on carriages, dresses on dresses, colours on colours, crowds upon crowds, without end. Men and boys clinging to the wheels of coaches, and holding on behind, and following in their wake, and diving in among the horses’ feet to pick up scattered flowers to sell again; maskers on foot (the drollest generally) in fantastic exaggerations of court-dresses, surveying the throng through enormous eye-glasses, and always transported with an ecstasy of love, on the discovery of any particularly old lady at a window; long strings of Policinelli, laying about them with blown bladders at the ends of sticks; a waggon-full of madmen, screaming and tearing to the life; a coach-full of grave mamelukes, with their horse-tail standard set up in the midst; a party of gipsy-women engaged in terrific conflict with a shipful of sailors; a man-monkey on a pole, surrounded by strange animals with pigs’ faces, and lions’ tails, carried under their arms, or worn gracefully over their shoulders; carriages on carriages, dresses on dresses, colours on colours, crowds upon crowds, without end. Not many actual characters sustained, or represented, perhaps, considering the number dressed, but the main pleasure of the scene consisting in its perfect good temper; in its bright, and infinite, and flashing variety; and in its entire abandonment to the mad humour of the time…”

– Charles Dickens, Pictures from Italy (London: Bradbury & Evans, 1846), pp. 178-179.

Whether you celebrate Carnival, Carnevale, Shrovetide, Fasnacht, Mardi Gras, or Fasching … enjoy it while it lasts!

Bartolomeo Pinelli, costumes of Roman Carnival, 1812. From: Lettre de M. Millin,… à M. Langlès, sur le carnaval de Rome (Paris: J.-B. Sajou, 1812).
Source: Gallica / Bibliothèque nationale de France

Bernini disegnatore

The proceedings of the conference Bernini disegnatore: nuove prospettive di ricerca – held in Rome in April 2015 – have now been published. The collection includes initial results of my collaboration with Tod Marder on his new edition of Heinrich Brauer and Rudolf Wittkower, Die Zeichnungen des Gianlorenzo Bernini, 2 vols. (Berlin: Keller, 1931). Our essay examines the historiography of Brauer and Wittkower’s classic catalogue of Bernini’s drawings, and situates it within the intellectual biographies of its authors. Other contributions consider the history of the various repositories of Bernini’s drawings, the typologies of Bernini’s drawings, and case studies of drawings for specific projects by the artist.

From the publisher’s description:

I disegni del Bernini offrono una prospettiva privilegiata, un’opportunità di affrontare l’arte del cavaliere nella sua universalità come scultore, pittore e architetto, ma anche come inventore per le arti decorative, e ci permettono uno sguardo intimo nel laboratorio del genio, capace di adattare le sue invenzioni a circostanze in continua evoluzione e alle domande pressanti dei suoi committenti. Mentre l’esecuzione dei grandi progetti era delegata sempre più a una schiera di collaboratori altamente specializzati, il tratto personalissimo dei disegni ci riporta alla mano e al pensiero del Bernini. Sono disegni preparatori che fanno trasparire l’iter concettuale di occasioni grandi e piccole, ma anche studi di struggente naturalismo, ritratti parlanti di straordinaria vivacità e quei grandi disegni autonomi dell’ultimo Bernini, ormai non più semplice segno grafico ma strumento di contemplazione mistica.

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Sybille Ebert-Schifferer, Tod A. Marder, Sebastian Schütze, editors, Bernini disegnatore: nuove prospettive di ricerca, Storia dell’Arte (Rome: Campisano Editore, 2017).

C O N T E N T S

Prefazione – Sybille Ebert-Schifferer, Tod A. Marder, Sebastian Schütze

1. STORIOGRAFIA E STORIA DEI FONDI BERNINIANI

Brauer and Wittkower and the Corpus Berninianum – Susan Klaiber, Tod A. Marder

Wittkower, Bernini e il Gran Teatro del Barocco: il «progettar disegnando», la Verità e l’esempio del Pantheon – Marcello Fagiolo

I disegni di Giovan Lorenzo Bernini nelle collezioni dell’Istituto Centrale per la Grafica: considerazioni sul volume Gualtieri-Corsini – Rita Bernini

I disegni di Bernini e della sua scuola nella Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Barbara Jatta

Il disegno nell’epistolario di Giovan Lorenzo Bernini – Giovanni Morello

2. TIPOLOGIA DEI DISEGNI

Bernini and the Creative Process: The Presentation Drawings – Louise Rice

I disegni del Cavaliere: l’arte del dono e i suoi rituali tra amicizia, familiarità e grande diplomazia – Sebastian Schütze

Le fontane di Bernini: disegni e bozzetti – Maria Grazia Bernardini

Bernini e il disegno di architettura – Elisabeth Kieven

Die ›fehlenden‹ Architekturzeichnungen Berninis. Kunstgeschichtliche Probleme und Verallgemeinerungen: Berninis ›kursierende Gedanken‹ – Werner Oechslin

Bernini per Parigi: disegnare progetti «dal vero» – Daniela Del Pesco

3. PROGETTO E PROGETTAZIONE

«Quatuor columnis non plus ultra»: Giovan Lorenzo Bernini e i disegni per il baldacchino di San Pietro a Roma (1624-1633) – Maria Grazia D’Amelio

Bernini inventore. Disegni berniniani per arti decorative – Francesco Petrucci

A Proposal for Two Drawings by Bernini in Leipzig – Ann Sutherland Harris

Giovan Lorenzo Bernini e l’elefante della Minerva: la storia e i personaggi attraverso i disegni della Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Manuela Gobbi

Entangled Histories, Multiple Geographies: Program

EAHN 2015 Conference Program Now Online

The EAHN 2015 Regional Thematic Conference Entangled Histories, Multiple Geographies will be held in Belgrade from 14-17 October 2015. The conference program is now available online, and features twelve panels organized in four sessions of three panels each. The panels are further classified within eight tracks: Transfer, Politicized City, Ideology, Communities’ Roots, Historiography, Identity, Contested Heritage and Constructed Traditions. Three keynote speakers – Branko Mitrović, Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen, and Aleksandar Kadijević – and a concluding roundtable moderated by Ana Miljački frame the conference program as plenary sessions.

A detailed program for the session I will chair on 16 October, Contested Heritage, may be downloaded here as a PDF file. The images below give a preview of the themes to be covered by the five papers in my session.

Summer Postcards

Last week the Austrian National Library launched its digitized postcard portal AKON Ansichtskarten Online with over 75,000 historic postcards available to browse and download. The AKON portal supplements several other similar online resources such as the E-Pics Image Archive at the ETH Zurich, which includes a large group of historic postcards assembled by the Swiss collector Adolf Feller. Both collections focus primarily on European postcards. Many of these images provide valuable information about buildings or urban ensembles now destroyed or dramatically altered, while others offer amusing presentations of familiar sites.

Good online collections emphasizing American postcards include the Boston Public Library’s Tichnor Brothers Collection, the National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collection at the University of Maryland, and the New York Public Library’s Digital Gallery (here search under the genre “Postcards”).

Most images are freely available to use and download under a variety of Creative Commons licenses or public domain designations. The navigation on the AKON site is intuitive but slightly clumsy, based on a zoomable world map. The ETH site includes extensive metadata with its images, automatically creating captions.

A loose sampling of postcards from these collections follows, grouped under the headings “Work” and “Play.” The first category features sites that have occupied me professionally during the past year, while the second shares snapshots of my summer vacation. Click any image to link to its source.

Work

Torino, Palazzo Madama, Castello Medioevale, Mono. Vitt. Emanuele, II. Ricordo Nazionale

Torino, Palazzo Madama, Castello Medioevale, Mono. Vitt. Emanuele, II. Ricordo Nazionale

Torino, Veduta del Po, colla Grand Madre di Dio ed il monte dei Cappuccini

Torino, Veduta del Po, colla Grand Madre di Dio ed il monte dei Cappuccini

Strambino

Messina

Roma, Panorama dalla Cupola di S. Pietro

Roma, Panorama dalla Cupola di S. Pietro

Roma, Piazza S. Pietro, Ispirazioni Divine

Roma, Piazza S. Pietro, Ispirazioni Divine

Play

Zurich

Chicago Skyline

Macatawa MI

Ottawa Beach Holland MI

P.S.: The Boston Public Library gives an incorrect location for Lake Macatawa – it is in Ottawa County in western Michigan.

Guarino Guarini, not Camillo

1641 vows

Guarino Guarini, born 17 January 1624 in Modena

To mark Guarino Guarini’s birthday today, this post aims to correct a fundamental misconception about the architect: his name.  Many reference works – from Wikipedia in most languages, to even the Encyclopaedia Britannica  or authoritative library catalogues – refer to him as “Camillo Guarino Guarini,” sometimes suggesting that he was baptized “Camillo” and took the name “Guarino” upon entering the Theatine order as a novice at age 15 in 1639.

This is simply wrong.  No document produced during Guarini’s lifetime ever refers to him as “Camillo.”  In particular, the record of his baptism (published by Sandonnini 1890, p. 485) clearly refers to him as “Guarino”:

Battezzati di S.a Margheria. Addì 22 Gennaio 1624 – Guarino, figlio del S.r Rinaldo Guarini et della Signora Eugenia Marescotti sua moglie fu battezzato. Furono padrini il Signor Marcello Guerenghi et la Signora Seghizza sua moglie.

Similarly, when he joined the Theatines: “A di 27 di 9bre entra in Religione Guarino del Sig. Rinaldo Guarini e di Sig.a Eugenia Marescotti d’età d’anni 15.” (Klaiber 1993, p. 55 n. 15).  His final vows to the order, taken at age 17 in April 1641, preserve the earliest known sample of his handwriting and autograph signature (image above).  Here too he is Guarino, with no mention anywhere of renouncing the name “Camillo.”  And so on.  Not a single contemporary document records his name as “Camillo.”

Fortunately, some important reference works have resisted the popular proliferation of “Camillo Guarini” – the Getty’s Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) and the Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (DBI), to name two.  Even German Wikipedia has it right.

Tracing the source of the mysterious mistaken name “Camillo” requires lengthy research going back to late seventeenth-century Paris (Klaiber 1999, pp. 220, 235 n. 4, and Klaiber 2001, p. 31, cited below).  There, in the wake of controversy surrounding the Theatine church Sainte-Anne-la-Royale, the name of the Theatine superior in Paris, Camillo Sanseverino, became conflated with the name of the church’s architect, Guarino Guarini.

Indeed, the fictive name “Camillo Guarini” appears exclusively in French sources throughout the eighteenth century.  Only in the early nineteenth century does it begin to spread to English, German, and other texts.  The mistake became firmly entrenched in reference works when it was included in the Thieme-Becker Künstlerlexikon entry on Guarini in 1922.

Errors, authorities, and critical thinking

Even with the best intentions, simple mistakes (or more complicated ones) easily creep into all kinds of texts.  Many of the Wikipedia entries on Guarini have added a new inaccuracy to their account of his life, giving his birthday as 7 January rather than 17 January.  This mistake is probably due to someone accidentally omitting the first digit of “17” while copying it. (The exact date of his birth is known from a later document produced at the time of his ordination in 1648.)

No one is exempt from such errors.  In his recent piece “One of Science’s Most Famous Quotes is False,” New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter confessed that for years he had unknowingly propagated an invented quote long attributed to former Surgeon General William Stewart. So even the legendary fact-checking department at the New Yorker also slips up sometimes.

My own confession is this: when writing my dissertation, I failed to double-check all of the details, choosing instead to rely on my memory for material I thought I knew well. For the most part, this worked out just fine, but one error did sneak in – I gave the name of Guarini’s father as “Raimondo” rather than “Rinaldo.” This was a small and fairly insignificant mistake, but I then repeated it in my 1999 article on Guarini listed below, checking the detail in my dissertation rather than the primary sources. Years later I was horrified to discover that the error was picked up in the Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani entry on Guarini, cited above. False information gets introduced into even authoritative reference works so easily and inadvertently.

The historian’s only recourse is constant vigilance and active critical thinking. Did I really read it that way? Does that make sense? Why do they all call him “Camillo”?

Happy Birthday, Guarino.

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References to Wikipedia correct as of date of posting.

Bibliography

Tommaso Sandonnini, “Il Padre Guarino Guarini modenese,” Atti e memorie delle RR. Deputazioni di storia patria per le provincie modenesi e parmensi, series III, volume V, part II (1890): 483-534.

Susan Klaiber, Guarino Guarini’s Theatine Architecture, Ph.D. dissertation (Columbia University, 1993).

Susan Klaiber, “Guarino Guarini, Honestis Parentibus Mutinensis,” in M. Bulgarelli, C. Conforti, G. Curcio, eds., Modena 1598. L’invenzione di una capitale (Milan: Electa, 1999): 219-237.

Susan Klaiber, “Guarini e Parigi: interscambi culturali e critici,” in G. Dardanello, editor, Sperimentare l’architettura. Guarini, Juvarra, Alfieri, Borra e Vittone (Turin: Fondazione CRT, 2001): 15-36.

Image above: Guarini’s autograph vows to the Theatine order, 14 April 1641
Source: Archivio Generale dei Teatini, Rome / Susan Klaiber (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Francesco Grimaldi, Theatine Architect

Grimaldi portrait 400th Anniversary of His Death, 1 August 1613

Four hundred years ago today, Francesco Grimaldi died in Naples in the Theatine house of Santi Apostoli, which he had designed along with its adjacent church. Grimaldi (born 1543 in Oppido Lucano) was the first significant Theatine priest-architect. He provided the original plans for the Theatines’ Sant’Andrea della Valle, Rome; built the order’s Sant’Irene, Lecce; as well as the Cappella del Tesoro di San Gennaro at the Duomo in Naples, and numerous churches for the Theatines and other patrons in that city.

His career parallels those of first-generation priest-architects from the other counter-reformational orders, including men such as the Jesuit Giuseppe Valeriano (1542-1596) or the Barnabite Lorenzo Binago (1554-1629). These architects gave architectural form to their orders’ institutional identities during their period of rapid expansion and intensive church construction between the late Cinquecento and early Seicento.

Although recent studies* have reassessed some traditional attributions to Grimaldi, his importance for counter-reformational architecture and the architectural identity of the Theatine order remains undisputed four centuries after his death.

Pâris SS_Apostoli_Napoli_Besançon

Pierre-Adrien Pâris, Plan de la maison ou monastère des Théatins de laquelle dépend l’église des Saints-Apôtres à Naples, late eighteenth century.
Image: Mémoire vive: patrimoine numérisé de Besançon

Top: Portrait of Francesco Grimaldi from Domenico Martuscelli, Niccolò Morelli di Gregorio, and Pasquale Panvini, eds., Biografia degli uomini illustri del regno di Napoli, ornata de loro rispettivi ritratti, vol. 8 ([Napoli]: N. Gervasi, 1822): unpaginated.
Image: Google Books

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*Andrea Masciantonio, “Francesco Grimaldi e Alessandro Albertini nella genesi progettuale del complesso di Sant’Andrea della Valle a Roma (1589-1608). Il disegno 23 del Fondo Panciatichi 178 della Biblioteca Nazionale di Firenze,” Römische Historische Mitteilungen 47 (2005): 123-169; Fulvio Lenzo, Architettura e antichitá a Napoli dal XV al XVIII secolo. Colonne del tempio dei Dioscuri e la chiesa di San Paolo Maggiore (Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider, 2011). For a complete biography of Grimaldi, see the entry by Gaetana Cantone in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani 59 (2003).

Dal Borromini al Guarini

Borromini_al_Guarini

In honor of Guarino Guarini’s birth on today’s date in 1624, watch the film Dal Borromini al Guarini (1976), conceived by the architectural historian Paolo Marconi, directed by Vittorio Armentano for the Enciclopedia dell’arte italiana, and available on the Archivio Storico Istituto Luce / Cinecittà website.

Viewed from 2013, the voice-over narration of the fifty-minute documentary seems to emerge from a historiographic time capsule forgotten long ago. The images, however, include rare views of the apex of the Cappella della Sindone cupola, and they document the condition of several buildings (including San Lorenzo and the Palazzo Carignano) before the restoration campaigns of recent decades.

The film’s most egregious error confuses Guarini’s unexecuted church project for the Padri Somaschi in Messina with his executed facade of the Santissima Annunziata there, destroyed in the tragic earthquake of 1908 (15:45). And the script presents some puzzles: Borromini’s San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane is missing entirely, and Bernini plays no role whatsoever in the story line. The film is truly a “figlio del suo tempo,” as the narrator remarks about Guarini (16:50). Occasionally instructive or compelling images still make it well worth watching, though, and it is an interesting exercise in presenting Baroque architecture to a general audience.

Buildings featured, with position in minutes: Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza (0:55); Cappella della Sindone (6:30); San Lorenzo (11:15); Collegio di Propaganda Fide (18:45); Oratorio dei Filippini (21:00); urban project for San Martino al Cimino (23:06); San Giovanni in Laterano (24:13); Palazzo Carpegna (27:00); Palazzo Carignano (29:34); Collegio dei Nobili (35:00); Guarinian influences in Bohemia (37:00); Municipio, Bra (38:20); Santa Chiara, Bra (39:28); Santuario della Visitazione, Vallinotto (44:00); Mole Antonelliana (47:15); Basilica di Superga (49:07); Sant’Agnese in Agone (50:30).