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