Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians
Guarini and the Pursuit of Originality: The Church for Lisbon and Related Projects
Andrew Morrogh


With the aid of a drawing, published here for the first time, this article explores the genesis of Guarini's project for S. Maria della Divina Provvidenza, Lisbon, in the context of his other projects for large longitudinal churches and, more generally, of his methods of design. The churches show a completely new approach to the type, based on strongly projecting piers that produce a rhythmical flow in the main vista. In designing them, Guarini made much use of a grid, both to achieve simple arithmetical proportions, and for the projects' elaboration. As part of his scheme to develop a varied and highly original range of church types for publication, the large longitudinal churches show Guarini engaged in two characteristic creative strategies: that of taking ideas from his previous work and putting them in a new context; and that of setting out to produce an antithesis to a previous design. Guarini's organized creativity gives him a special place in baroque architecture.

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