Giacomo Della Porta

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Giacomo Della Porta

(b. Porlezza, Italy c.1532)

Born in Porlezza, Italy around 1532, Giacomo della Porta assumed a role as one of the leading Roman architects of the late sixteenth century. The son and grandson of sculptors, della Porta learned the technical and formal aspects of architecture through an association with Guidetto Guidetti, Vignola and possibly, Michelangelo. His sense for decorative details and his technical competence resulted more from practical knowledge rather than from speculative thinking.

Although of Lombard origin, della Porta generated most of his work within Rome. As a result, he earned the title of 'Architetto del Popolo Romano'. During his long career, he completed a great many projects for various popes and members of the Roman nobility. He worked on almost all of the major building enterprises of the day.

In his search for new forms, Della Porta often created inventive and decorative surfaces that mimicked those of Michelangelo. However, he simplified Michelangelo's style and synthesized it with a classical vocabulary. By concentrating on unified dynamic movement, on vertical clarity, and on the decorative interaction of parts, Della Porta represented a progressive transformation from the classical into the baroque.

Adolf K Placzek. Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects. Vol. 3. London: The Free Press, 1982. ISBN 0-02-925000-5. NA40.M25. p456-457.

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