Bernini v. Borromini

Nowhere is this Baroque rivalry seemingly played out in more monumental and lasting terms than in the Piazza Navona where personifications of the Rio della Plata and the Nile in Bernini’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi appear to recoil from Borromini’s facade of Sant’Agnese in Agone. In fact, the fountain was erected in 1651 and the church was built beginning in 1653.

NOTE:  On display at the Ca’ d’Oro in Venice are terracotta bozzetti for the Rio della Plata and the fiumo Nilo, allowing a glimpse of at least one set of changes to each personification.

 

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