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Rome in Metropolitan City of Rome, Lazio, Italy — Central Italy (Tyrrhenian Coast)
 

Pamphilj Palace on Navona Square

Palazzo Pamphilj a Piazza Navona

 

—built 16th-17th centuries / secc. XVI-XVII —

 
Pamphilj Palace on Navona Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 4, 2013
1. Pamphilj Palace on Navona Square Marker
Inscription.

Architetti [Architects]: F. Borromini (1599-1667) G. Rainaldi (1570-1655) C. Rainaldi (1611-1690)
Affreschi [Frescoes]: P. da Cortona (1596-1669) G. Brandi (1621-1691) F. Allegrini (1615/20-post 1679) G. Gimignani (1606-1681) A. Camassei (1602-1649) G. Dugher (1615-1675)

Franceso Borromini played a leading role in the ambitious project for the reorganisation of Piazza Navona, with the Pamphilj family residence and the new Church of St. Agnese in Agone [St. Agnes in Agony], thanks to the trust granted to him by Pope Innocent X Pamhilj. In fact, further to the restoration of San Giovanni in Laterano (undertaken by Borromini from 1646 to 1660), the Pope involved this Ticinese architect more and more frequently, and also summoned him for the project that he cared about most of all: to turn Piazza Navona into an authentic Court of the Pamphilj Family.

The square lay over the site of the Stadium of Domiziano (86 d.C.) built for the games (agones) in honour of Capitoline Jove; in the Renaissance it gradually became one of the most lively spots in the life of the city, with a market, fairs, workshops and numerous houses; it was adorned with monumental decorative works, and in the last quarter of the XVIth cent. it was regaled with the two fountains at either end designed by Giacomo della Porta. However it

Detail on Pamphilj Palace on Navona Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 4, 2013
2. Detail on Pamphilj Palace on Navona Square Marker
was only with the grandiose works promoted by Innocent X that a Baroque-style transformation of the square took place, with feats of architecture and urban design created by the greatest artists of the time. The Pamphilj family originally settled in the area towards the end of the XVth cent., when Antonio Pamphilj da Gubbio moved to Rome, and set up house in the old Piazza di Parone (now Piazza di Pasquino, at the back of Piazza Navona). In the years that followed, the family's estate extended along the western side of the square, and a significant contribution was made by Giovanni Battista Pamphilj: when he became Cardinal, he had the family residence enlarged and had the first palace built, with two façades, one overlooking Piazza di Pasquino and the other facing onto Piazza Navona. When Giovanni Battista was elected to become Pope in 1644, with the name of Innocent X, it was then possible to launch the ambitious plan to create a Pamphiljan "insula" around the most famous square in Rome. In order to enlarge the Pamphilj Palace, houses and buildings were purchased, although the new project did not envisage a total reconstruction but rather the rebuilding of most of the western side of the square along which the building had gradually spread, with a homogeneous façade that would unify the entire construction.

Work carried out between 1645 and 1648 was entrusted to Girolano

Pamphilj Palace on Navona Square and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 4, 2013
3. Pamphilj Palace on Navona Square and Marker
Rainaldi and his son Carlo, but Borromini also was brought in on the project by the Pope, to supervise the two architects' activities. In 1646, the Ticinese architect was more directly involved in operations, and it was then that he proposed a series of designs for the façade and executed the roof of the central hall, raising the vault and designing the ceiling and the door; he also built the gallery on the northern side that runs along the entire length of the side of the palace facing onto Via dell'Anima and onto the square, with two "serliane" (mullioned three-lighted window with pediment), later decorated by Pietro da Cortona. The recurrent motif on the "serlaine" recalls a design in the imperial lodge of the ancient stadium where the emperor sat to watch the games, as well as in the lodge where the Pope gave his blessing, as appears in the fresco painted by Raphael of the Fire in the Borgo in the Vatican; the Pamphiljan building may therefore be classified as being an imperial palace as well as a Papal palace, in which the allusion of a continuity between ancient times and Christianity is impressive. In 1647, Borromini also submitted a design for the central fountain in the square, with an obelisk on a pedestal and four lion's heads, but it is a well-known fact that this project was outclassed by designs made by Bernini, who composed the grandiose Baroque stage-set
View of Navona Square from Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 4, 2013
4. View of Navona Square from Marker
that became the Four Rivers Fountain. In 1652, Innocent X decided to have the church next to the palace rebuilt, as a grand family chapel that would be his own burial place; work was initially entrusted to Girolamo Rainaldi, who was then replaced by Borromini. The latter partially accepted the plan designed by Rainaldi for the interior of the Church of St. Agnese, but he completely rebuilt the façade. To the right of the church stands the Collegio Innocenziano, founded for training all the young men born in the Pamphilj's estates in preparation for an ecclesiastical career; it was built according to a plan designed by Borromini (1654) that was partly modified.

Francesco Borromini fu uno dei protagonisti dell'ambizioso progetto per la sistemazione di piazza Navona, con la residenza della famiglia Pamphilj e la nuova chiesa di S. Agnese in Agone, grazie alla fiducia conquistata presso papa Innocenzo X Pamphilj. Dopo i restauri a S. Giovanni in Laterano (intrapresi da Borromini dal 1646 al 1660) infatti, il pontefice coinvolse sempre più spesso l'architetto ticinese, e lo chiamò anche per l'impresa che gli stava più a cuore: fare di piazza Navona una vera e propria corte dei Pamphilj.

La piazza sorse sull'area dello stadio di Domiziano (86 d.C.) destinato alle competizioni (agones) in onore di Giove Capitolino; nel Rinascimento si avviò a diventare uno dei luoghi

View of Church of St. Agnes in Agony and Pamphilj Palace on Navona Square image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 4, 2013
5. View of Church of St. Agnes in Agony and Pamphilj Palace on Navona Square
più vivaci della vita cittadina, con mercato, fiere, botteghe e numerose abitazioni, e fu abbellita da opere di arredo monumentale, ricevendo nell'ultimo quarto del Cinquecento le due fontane laterali progettate da Giacomo della Porta. Tuttavia solo con i grandiosi lavori promossi da Innocenzo X ci fu la trasformazione barocca della piazza, con interventi architettonici e di arredo urbano ad opera delle maggiori personalità del tempo. Il primo insediamento dei Pamphilj nella zona risale alla fine del Quattrocento, quando Antonio Pamphilj da Gubbio si trasferì a Roma, stabilendosi nell'antica piazza di Parione (attuale piazza di Pasquino, alle spalle di piazza Navona). I possedimenti della famiglia si estesero negli anni successivi sul lato occidentale della piazza, con il particolare contributo di Giovanni Battista Pamphilj che, divenuto cardinale, fece ampliare la dimora di famiglia e fece construire il primo palazzo, con un doppio affaccio verso piazza di Pasquino e verso piazzo Navona; quando poi Giovanni Battista fu eletto papa nel 1644 col nome di Innocenzo X, si poté dare l'avvio all'ambizioso progetto di creare un'insula dei Pamphilj intorno alla più celebre piazza romana. Per l'ampliamento di palazzo Pamphilj furono acquistate case e palazzetti, anche se il nuovo progetto non contemplava un totale rifacimento bensì una riedificazione di gran parte del lato ovest
Church of St. Agnes in Agony and Egyptian Obelisk on Navona Square image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 4, 2013
6. Church of St. Agnes in Agony and Egyptian Obelisk on Navona Square
della piazza su cui si era gradualmente esteso il fabbricato, con un prospetto omogeneo desinato ad unificare l'intera construzione.

Dei lavori che si svolsero tra il 1645 ed il 1648 furono incaricati Girolamo Rainaldi e suo figlio Carlo, ma anche Borromini fu inserito dal pontefice nel progetto, per supervisionare all'attività dei due architetti. Nel 1646 il ticinese fu coinvolto più direttamente nei lavori, propose allora una serie di progetti per la facciata ed eseguì la copertura del salone centrale, rialzandone la volta e disegnandone soffitto e porta, e construì la galleria sul lato nord, che attraversa l'intero spessore del palazzo, affacciata su via dell'Anima e sulla piazza con due serlaine, poi decorata da Pietro da Cortona. Il ricorrente motivo della serliana richiama il disegno della loggia imperiale del circo antico dalla quale il sovrano osservava i giochi, ed allo stesso tempo quello della loggia della benedizione papale, così come appare nell'affesco di Raffaello dell'Incendio di Borgo in Vaticano; l'edificio pamphiliano può essere identifcato dunque come palazzo imperiale ed insieme come palazzo pontificio, in cui suggestivo è il riferimento alla continuità tra l'antico e la cristianità. Nel 1647 Borromini fornì anche un disegno per la fontana centrale della piazza, con un obelisco posto su un piedistallo con quattro teste leonine, ma il progetto com'è

Fountain of the Moors and Church of St. Agnes in Agony on Navona Square image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 4, 2013
7. Fountain of the Moors and Church of St. Agnes in Agony on Navona Square
noto fu surclassato da quello di Bernini, autore della grandiosa scenografia barocca della fontana dei Fiumi. Nel 1652 Innocenzo X decise di far riedificare la chiesa adiacente al palazzo, come cappella gentilizia per la propria sepoltura; i lavori furono inizialmente affidati a Girolamo Rainaldi, a cui subentrò Borromini. Questi accettò parzialmente l'interno rainaldiano della chiesa di S. Agnese, ma ne ricostruì completamente la facciata. Sul lato destro della chiesa è il Collegio Innocenziano, fondato per preparare alla vocazione ecclesiastica i giovani nati nei feudi Pamphilj; fu eseguito sulla base di un progetto di Borromini (1654), in parte modificato.
 
Erected by Assessorato alle Politiche Culturali - Sovraintendenza Cumunale ai Beni Culturali - Palazzo delle Esposizioni - Ambasciata di Svizzera - Bibliotheca Hartziana (Max-Planck-Institut).
 
Location. 41° 53.872′ N, 12° 28.364′ E. Marker is in Rome, Lazio, in Metropolitan City of Rome. Marker is at the intersection of Piazza Navona and Piazza di Pasquino, on the left when traveling north on Piazza Navona. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Piazza di Pasquino, 8, Rome, Lazio 00186, Italy.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 13th Century St. Gregory Monastery Cross-stone
Four Rivers Fountain on Navona Square image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 4, 2013
8. Four Rivers Fountain on Navona Square
Surrounding base of Egyptian obelisk
(within shouting distance of this marker); Hotel Tiziano (approx. 0.3 kilometers away); The Trevi-Pantheon Route (approx. 0.4 kilometers away); Vittorio Emanuele II (approx. 0.9 kilometers away); Gomez Palace Stables / Scuderie di Palazzo Gomez (approx. 1.2 kilometers away); The Spanish Steps / La Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti (approx. 1.2 kilometers away); Shrine of Venus Cloacina / Sacello di Venere Cloacina (approx. 1.2 kilometers away); Forum Square (approx. 1.2 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rome.
 
Also see . . .
1. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj. (Submitted on July 26, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Piazza Navona at Rome Art and Architecture. (Submitted on July 26, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Pope Innocent X Bio. (Submitted on July 26, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Church of Saint Agnes in Agony, Rome. (Submitted on July 26, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.Man-Made Features
 
Fountain of Neptune on Navona Square image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 4, 2013
9. Fountain of Neptune on Navona Square
Northwest Side of Navona Square image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 4, 2013
10. Northwest Side of Navona Square
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 26, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 171 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on July 26, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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