GRIMALDI, Francesco
(b. 1543, Oppido Lucano, d. 1613, Napoli)

Biography

Italian architect, Theatine Order priest. He came from Calabria and was active mainly in Naples. His first important building, San Paolo Maggiore (1581-1603), erected over the ancient temple of Castor and Pollux, proves him an architect of uncommon ability. In spite of certain provincialism, the design of San Paolo has breadth and a sonorous quality that may well be called Early Baroque.

In 1585 Grimaldi was called to Rome, where he had a share in the erection of Sant'Andrea della Valle. Returning to Naples he must have had the reputation of being the leading Theatine architect. Santa Maria degli Angeli (1600-10), the Cappella del Tresoro, which adjoins the cathedral and is itself the size of a church (1608-after 1613), and Santi Apostoli (planned 1613, executed 1626-32) are all thoroughly Roman in character and succeed by their scale and the vigorous quality of the design.

A new phase of Neapolitan architecture is linked to the name of Fra Francesco Grimaldi.