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Download The Genius in the Design: Bernini, Borromini, and the Rivalry That Transformed Rome epub

by Jake Morrissey

The rivalry between the brilliant seventeenth-century Italian architects Gianlorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini is the stuff of legend. Possessed of enormous talent and ambition, these two artists -- one trained as a sculptor, the other as a stonecutter -- met as contemporaries in the building yards of St. Peter's in Rome and ended their lives as bitter enemies. Over the course of their careers they became the most celebrated architects of their era, designing some of the most beautiful buildings in the world and transforming the city of Rome.

The Genius in the Design is an extraordinary tale of how these two men plotted, schemed, and intrigued to get the better of each other. Full of dramatic tension and great insight into personalities, acclaimed writer Jake Morrissey's engrossing and impeccably researched account also shows that this legendary rivalry defined the Baroque style that immediately succeeded the Renaissance and created the spectacular Roman cityscape of today.

Almost exactly the same age -- Bernini was born at the end of 1598, Borromini nine months later -- they were as alike and as different as any two men could be, each a potent combination of passion and enterprise, energy and imperfection. Bernini was a precocious talent who as a youth caught the attention of Pope Paul V and became Rome's most celebrated artist, whose patrons included the wealthiest families in Europe. The city's greatest sculptor -- the creator of such masterpieces as Apollo and Daphne and the Ecstasy of St. Teresa -- Bernini would also have been Rome's preeminent architect had it not been for Francesco Borromini, the one man whose talent and virtuosity rivaled his own. In contrast to Bernini's easy grace, Borromini was an introvert with a fiery temper who bristled when anyone interfered with his vision; his temperament alienated him from prospective patrons and precipitated his tragic end.

Like Mozart and Salieri, these two masters were inextricably linked, their dazzling work prodding the other to greater achievement while taking merciless advantage of each other's missteps. The Genius in the Design is their story, a fascinating narrative of beauty and tragedy marked at turns by personal animosity and astonishing artistic achievement.

Download The Genius in the Design: Bernini, Borromini, and the Rivalry That Transformed Rome epub
ISBN: 0060525339
ISBN13: 978-0060525330
Category: Photography
Subcategory: Architecture
Author: Jake Morrissey
Language: English
Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (March 1, 2005)
Pages: 336 pages
ePUB size: 1741 kb
FB2 size: 1817 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 960
Other Formats: mbr lrf rtf txt

When I was 18 I entered college to study architecture. Like almost all my classmates I revered the great modern architects, Sullivan, Wright, Mies, and Le Corbusier. Unlike my classmates I was also fascinated by history and this fascination and my love of architecture led to a journey of discovery. During that journey I developed a fondness for the symmetry, stability, and rhythms of Renaissance architecture. Then I found Borromini and Bernini and the sensuality and dynamism of their forms and I fell in love. In light of this I am probably not a good judge of the general appeal of this book. It is long on architectural descriptions and critically short on needed illustrations and photographs. A picture is worth a thousand words and a book on the work of any architect requires my illustration that verbalization. This is the one fault of this book otherwise it is an excellent treatment of the lives and works of these two incomparable artists.
As mentioned in earlier reviews, this book is in dire need of photos. If you've been lucky enough to visit the structures mentioned in the book, then the reading will be reasonably pleasant. If not, good luck. As for the rivalry between Borromini & Bernini, one would have a hard time finding it that dramatic based on Morrissey's telling. As an introduction to either architect, this book is adequate. As further reading for those with intermediate to advanced study in art, art history or architecture, your time would be better spent elsewhere.
One negative review of this book said it was simple a biography of the two architects and did not have a significant discussion of design. This is not true. There is enough discussion of design to satisfy the lay reader or tourist. The great thing about the book is that it gets you into the spirit of the grandeur of Rome. This is what most readers want and need in our era of hysterical banality.
It was very informative, but for my tastes, it was a bit difficult. I don't know many of the churches and other buildings Bernini and Borromini designed, but I'm sure they are lovely. I would now like to visit them to appreciate the scholarly nature of the book. The background about all the Popes and their needs for spectacular, costly tombs shows how controlling the Catholic Church was, especially then.
Excellent book on a subject not often addressed. Borromini and Bernini the 2 great Baroque artists that filled Rome with their beautiful buildings and sculptures. Borromini my personal favorite struggling to compete with Bernini and his large reputation. Their rivalry created some of the most important art in Western Civilization. Masters at their craft and individual genius' in their own right. Finally a book talks about both of them living and working in Rome changing the face of art history with their innovations.
This book is a wonderful find for someone who is interested in the Baroque period and especially in the tumultuous relationship between Bernini and Borromini. I chose to read this book as a supplement to my Baroque art class and it has helped me immensely. Even though it is a historical depiction, citing many sources and historical events of the seventeenth century, it reads as a novel. You get enveloped in both of these characters and their lives and become entangled in this rivalry that really shaped the architecture of this period. Morrissey does a great job at providing enough historical evidence to set the stage without making the text dry and boring. If you have a true interest in Baroque art/architecture, this is a wonderful read that will only further your passion for Rome in the Baroque period.
This is a book that we read like a novel about two of the greatest artists that lived in the city of Rome during the XVII century.
The writing is clear and call our attention to the life of Bernini and Borromini, their work and their personalities. It is a good approach to their work and you will be interested in knowing more about them. It also explores the relation of the power and the arts and in the end tell us that a patron is important to the glory of an artist. For me, that have already studied the life and work of Bernini, was
interesting, since place him in connections with other artists, Borromini. I believe this kind of relationships and rare and needed.
The author paints a vivid picture of Baroque Rome with interesting historical references and great background details of both men.