BORROMINI, Francesco
(b. 1599, Bissone, d. 1667, Roma)

Exterior view

Oratorio dei Filippini, Rome

In 1637 Borromini began the plans and building for the Oratory of St. Filippo Neri, one of the major Catholic congregations after the Jesuits. The community had a mother house on the Via Papalis and works continued further south towards Via del Pellegrino.

The photo shows the main façade on Via del Pellegrino. Although the façade is reminiscent of that of a church, its rows of domestic windows seem to contradict this impression. The main portion of the façade consists of five bays, closely set with pilasters, arranged over a concave plan. But the central bay of the lower tier is curved outward, while that of the upper tier opens into a niche of considerable depth. Crowning the façade rises the mighty pediment which, for the first time, combines curvilinear and angular movement.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.