DOTTI, Carlo Francesco
(b. 1669, Como, d. 1759, Bologna)

Exterior view

1723-57
Photo
Sanctuary of Madonna di San Luca, Bologna

Dotti's masterpiece is the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, near Bologna, which is raised on a hilltop above the city, consisting of a church topped by an elliptical dome, with extensions leading to two pentagonal pavilions. The Baroque era was fond of such sanctuaries. As widely visible symbols, they dominate the landscape. The architect's task was made particularly difficult, since he had not only to emulate the grand forms of nature herself by creating a stirring silhouette for the view from afar, but had also to attract those who would ascend the hill of the sanctuary. This dual problem was solved by Dotti in a masterly way.

A homogenous elliptical shape, encasing a Greek-cross design, is crowned by the dome - an effective combination of simple geometrical forms to be seen from a distance. For the near view he placed before the approach to the church a varied, richly articulated, and undulating building.

Less interesting is the interior, where Dotti followed Cortona's Santi Martina e Luca.

View the ground plan of Madonna di San Luca, Bologna.