BERNINI, Gian Lorenzo
(b. 1598, Napoli, d. 1680, Roma)

Exterior view

begun 1650
Palazzo Chigi-Odescalchi, Rome

Bernini designed the palace for Cardinal Flavio Chigi in the summer of 1664. He placed a richly articulated central part of seven bays between simple rusticated receding wings of three bays each. The ground floor functions as a base for the two upper storeys with their giant composite pilasters. This finely balanced façade was disturbed in 1745 when the palace was acquired by the Odescalchi. Niccolò Salvi and his assistantLuigi Vanvitelli doubled the central part, which now has sixteen pilasters instead of eight and two entrance doors instead of one.

Bernini's design constitutes a decisive break with the traditional Roman palace front by using the colossal order. The older type, with no vertical articulation, has long rows of windows horizontally united by means of continuous string courses.

The photo shows the façade.