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  • Prof: Good morning everybody.

  • Today I am going to--well actually let me step back for a

  • second.

  • I have been mentioning to you, in the last several weeks I've

  • been mentioning to you, more than once,

  • the fact that we are-- we have been beginning to see

  • what I've described as the baroque element in Roman

  • architecture, the baroque element in Roman

  • architecture.

  • And I want to concentrate on that particular aspect of Roman

  • architecture today, which is why I've called the

  • lecture "Baroque Extravaganzas."

  • I want to make--at the beginning, at the outset,

  • I want to make a few points.

  • I want to highlight what I see as the three major features of

  • baroque architecture in the Roman period.

  • The first of these is that those buildings that are

  • baroque, or at least the architects and

  • patrons who designed buildings that we think of today as

  • Baroque, or we might define as Baroque

  • buildings, they used the traditional

  • vocabulary of architecture; they used the traditional

  • vocabulary of architecture.

  • And by that I mean the traditional vocabulary of Greek

  • and Etruscan architecture, for the most part.

  • I'm speaking now of columns, I'm speaking of pediments,

  • and I'm also speaking of lintels and entablatures and the

  • like.

  • They use all of that traditional vocabulary,

  • but they use it in a very different way.

  • That's number one.

  • Number two is that ancient Roman baroque buildings tend to

  • be decorated in a very ornate fashion -- almost too ornate.

  • In fact, we'll see that these buildings are covered with

  • decoration, so much so that they seem to

  • dematerialize some of the architectural elements,

  • including those ones that make up that traditional vocabulary

  • of architecture.

  • The third, and in some respects the most important,

  • is the fact that they use these traditional elements of

  • architecture to-- they use them in a way to

  • enliven the surface, to create motion,

  • to create a sense of undulation.

  • And that in and out, the in-and-out projection and

  • recession that I've mentioned on a few occasions,

  • we see that interjected into these works of architecture of

  • the so-called Baroque style.

  • So keep those three characteristics in mind,

  • as we look at a host of buildings today.

  • I also want to mention that we'll focus primarily today on

  • the eastern part of the Empire, where we see a particularly

  • large number of these baroque buildings,

  • in large part because there was a strong tradition in that part

  • of the world for using that traditional vocabulary of

  • architecture, because of the very strong

  • impact of Greece and of Greek architecture,

  • and of access to high quality marble,

  • from that part of the world, which of course is needed for

  • columns and the like.

  • So we'll focus on the eastern part of the Empire.

  • I also want to make the point that when one thinks about

  • Baroque architecture, in general, one thinks not of

  • Roman antiquity, but rather of the seventeenth

  • century in Italy.

  • One thinks, in particular, of two master architects,

  • two great architectural giants, who were on the world stage at

  • that particular time.

  • And that is Bernini, Gian Lorenzo Bernini,

  • and also Francesco Borromini, Francesco Borromini;

  • Bernini and Borromini, who were themselves rivals,

  • architectural rivals; put up buildings in fact that

  • are often in dialogue with one another.

  • I think in particular of the Piazza Navona,

  • where we have Bernini's Four Rivers Fountain,

  • and Borromini's Church of Sant'Agnese there in Agone,

  • and the way in which they were set up to speak to one another.

  • I don't know if any of you--I'm sure many of you know the Four

  • Rivers Fountain, where one of the rivers has his

  • hand up, like this, to protect himself.

  • And the implication is he needs to protect himself;

  • he's facing Bernini's building, he's facing--excuse me,

  • he's facing Borromini's church, and he needs to protect

  • himself; that is, Bernini's river needs

  • to protect himself from Borromini's church,

  • the implication being that if he doesn't--

  • he needs to hold up his hand because Borromini's church is

  • going to collapse, because it's so poorly executed.

  • So this very interesting dialogue between the two men.

  • And again we think of that primarily when we think of

  • Baroque.

  • And just a couple of examples.

  • I show here--and I'll show you a number of them in the course

  • of the lecture today, especially Borromini's

  • work--but I wanted to focus right at the moment on St.

  • Peter's, San Pietro.

  • You see it here, St.

  • Peter's as designed--the dome is designed, as we've discussed

  • before, by Michelangelo.

  • The façade design by Carlo Maderno,

  • also a seventeenth-century architect.

  • But most interesting are the embracing oval arms of Bernini's

  • colonnade.

  • And you can see that so well in the view on the upper left,

  • the embracing arms of that colonnade,

  • and all the motion and the in-and-out movement that we find

  • both on the façade and in the embracing arms is

  • characteristic of seventeenth-century Baroque

  • architecture.

  • But I want to maintain today, as I've maintained in the

  • course of the semester, that the Romans,

  • there wasn't anything that the Romans didn't do first,

  • and that it is Roman baroque architecture,

  • as we're going to define it today, that had a huge impact on

  • architects like Borromini and Bernini.

  • And I remind you of a couple of instances of that.

  • Think back; the whole idea of using

  • hemicycles, curves in architecture is begun

  • by the Romans, of course, in such buildings as

  • the Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia at Palestrina,

  • where you see one of the hemicycles up there.

  • And you'll remember that from our discussion of the paper

  • topics, that in Gerasa there was an

  • oval piazza or oval forum, well before the oval colonnade

  • of Bernini.

  • So again, what I'm going to try to demonstrate today is how

  • important this baroque architecture in Roman antiquity

  • is, not only in its own right,

  • but also as a model and a spur to the architects of the

  • seventeenth century in Italy.

  • We have touched upon the beginnings of Roman baroque

  • architecture-- incipient, we might call it

  • incipient Roman baroque architecture--

  • in a few instances.

  • And I just want to remind you of those today.

  • Think back to Second Style Roman wall painting.

  • I remind you of the Room of the Masks in the House of Augustus,

  • where you see this theatrical façade,

  • done in paint, that represents columns with

  • projecting elements or lintels on either side,

  • and then a kind of a pediment up above.

  • We saw our first explorations of this kind of thing in

  • painting, already in 60 to 50 B.C., and then in this case in

  • the '30s to 20 B.C.

  • And we maintained at that point that there was probably a direct

  • relationship between theatrical architecture and these kinds of

  • paintings.

  • But we don't have much in the way of preserved,

  • built architecture at that time that partakes of some of these

  • characteristics.

  • But we think it's possible that there may have been,

  • as I mentioned then, some wooden,

  • some scaenae frons, with these kinds of effects

  • done in wood, that no longer survive today.

  • You'll remember also that we looked at the Forum Transitorium

  • in Rome: the forum first of Domitian and then completed by

  • Nerva.

  • And I show you a detail of that again.

  • And this is when we really begin to see,

  • in built architecture, this move toward what we're

  • defining today as the baroque in Roman architecture.

  • And you can see that what we have here are the traditional,

  • the traditional vocabulary of architecture:

  • columns, in this case Corinthian

  • columns, with projecting entablatures on top,

  • creating a system of receding and progressing bays across the

  • surface, which created a kind of

  • undulating movement across the sides of the forum.

  • And then you'll remember also, if you look at the frieze,

  • that the frieze continues along the sides of the columns as

  • well, and then in a relief of

  • Minerva, up on top.

  • It's not quite--I wouldn't call it overly ornate quite yet,

  • but it is ornate.

  • And