Bernini & Borromini: Geniuses of the Baroque and Rivals to Death
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Join us on this tour to discover the art and lives of the two greatest geniuses of the Baroque: Bernini and Borromini. Their bitter rivalry has become legendary; their visionary work left a permanent mark on the Eternal City, changing forever the way in which we think of sculpture and architecture.
Rome is the heart of Baroque art and architecture and thanks to this tour you will experience it in its full glory. We will visit Borromini and Bernini’s best-known Roman monuments. We will start with the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria. Hidden behind its elegant façade, this church features a mind-boggling explosion of painting, sculpture, stuccos, marbles, and Baroque architecture. Sculpted angels emerge from the walls and appear to float mid-air – illusionistic paintings brake the boundaries of the walls, catapulting you into a transcendent vision of Angels and Demons. You will marvel at Bernini’s Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, as your guide explains the history behind the most scandalous artwork of the Baroque which has shocked and amazed viewers for hundreds of years.
We will ascend on the gentle slopes of the Quirinal Hill – one of the Seven Hills of Rome – to compare Borromini’s Church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane with Bernini’s Church of Sant’Andrea al Quirinale. Your guide will help you understand the different styles of the two masters, the more audacious and eclectic Borromini, and the more classical and elegant Bernini. Their different styles reflect opposite personalities, and you will learn all about the artist’s rivalry.
After, we will head to visit Rome’s most-loved square: Piazza Navona. This is quite simply an unmissable stop in any tour to Rome. Here, you will admire Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers and learn about the legends and stories which surround its construction. This is Rome’s most breathtaking fountain – a glorious artistic achievement with horses galloping out of the rushing water and powerful marble giants reclining on rocky outcrops. Opposite the fountain we will see Borromini’s majestic Church of Sant’Agnese and discover how this building represented the culmination of his career. These two competing buildings stand as an eternal testament to the lives, rivalry, and genius of the two great masters of the Baroque.