Gillian Darley

Cracks in the Foundations

The Genius in the Design: Bernini, Borromini, and the Rivalry that Transformed Rome

By

Duckworth 288pp £20 order from our bookshop

In a story which depends heavily on architectural metaphor, the fissures that began to snake across the masonry of Gianlorenzo Bernini’s twin bell-towers at St Peter’s in Rome, even before they were complete, were highly portentous.

Resting on bases which already formed part of Carlo Maderno’s façade, the twin campanili had been stretched up to three storeys during construction and elaborated far beyond Bernini’s original design. The continuous changes were instigated by Pope Urban VIII, the architect’s patron and not a man to be crossed. Naturally, he took no blame, and the alarming cracks were charges to be laid at Bernini’s feet.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Here's reviewing Rachel Kushner's novel about a woman caught in the injustice of the US prison system,… ,
    • 'Hart sets out to unsettle, startle and disturb. In this strange, disconcerting, radical version of a strange, disc… ,
    • Here is @MannJessica's June crime fiction round-up, discussing books by Georges Simenon, Jack Grimwood,… ,
    • John Stubbs reviews Stephen Greenblatt's latest, 'Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power' ,
    • RT : What happened when US military strategist Herman Kahn - one of Kubrick’s three models for Dr Strangelove - took LSD… ,
    • 'Pollan has no doubt that the use of psychedelics could have a powerfully beneficial effect on a range of condition… ,
    • A memoir about an Untouchable family and the 'formation of modern India': 'Ants among Elephants' by @gidla_sujatha… ,