Circle / Concave
Friends with an old book task 4:
In his book Borromini portrays the Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza (1642-1660) catholic church in Rome (designed by him) and its various elements & themes in a summary of sketches. After a short introduction the book opens up with exterior views, projection views, sections & a floor-plan giving the reader an understanding of the overall building before diving into the various detailed elements of the building. The church is widely regarded a masterpiece of Roman Baroque architecture. Various baroque elements are very well recognizable when browsing through the book. For example the curvaceousness / circle shaped geometry of the building.
Borromini was well known for fusing geometrical shapes. In this specific case of the Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza he utilized curves and edges to define the shape of the rotunda which is recognizable when examining the floor plan. One can recognize a triangle with its three angles cut off by semi-circles and semi-circles located in between the triangle’s three axes. The combining of edges and curves is Borromini’s most distinguishable signature.
Also the facade is recognizably baroque in its concave form which comes to life in his masterful perspective illustration of the church moulding into the courtyard. The section view shows the curvaceous interior & gives an understanding of the magnitude of the dome in proportion to the whole structure. There is undeniably a „wow“ effect when seeing the immensity of the dome in the section view. There are no measurements in any of his drawings, nor is there any writing or explanation concerning the illustrations. Each sketch is followed by a blank page inviting the inspector to write down / sketch their own thoughts evoked by Borromini`s drawings. This comes in handy when trying to understand how Borromini came up with the shapes for the building by fusing basic geometrical shapes such as triangles, squares and circles.
Borromini makes it a habit to include the sky with its clouds in his drawings. The way he draws the clouds & their curvatures underlines the continuous element of the circle in his project. The sky takes up more than half of the respective drawing giving it an underlying importance. In Baroque paintings clouds are important symbols of celestial mobility because it was believed that many gods and immortals used the cloud as a vehicle on which they traveled. Borromini continues to use baroque elements consistently throughout his work.