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

Interior view

1654-64
Photo
Re Magi Chapel, Collegio di Propaganda Fide, Rome

Work on the Collegio di Propaganda Fide, a group of buildings which formed the headquarters of the missionary congregation went on for an extended period.Borromini was commissioned to produce new structures for and alterations to the College.

Bernini built a small chapel in the palace for Pope Urban VIII; after the Pope's death Bernini fell into disgrace and Borromini was asked to replace it with a larger chapel which was completed in 1664. Similar to what he had done for Oratorio dei Filippini, Borromini included the chapel in the overall design of the palace, so that its existence is not evident from the outside; the chapel has an unusual rectangular shape with a fine stucco ceiling. The dedication to the Magi was decided by Cardinal Barberini on the assumption that the three kings could be regarded as the first pagans who embraced the Christian faith; their conversion could therefore be considered as a symbol of those promoted by the congregation.

The photo shows the ceiling.




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