19 Baroque Phenomenon in Roman Architecture

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By Diana E E Kleiner | Roman Architecture Lecture 19 of 24

Lecture Description

Professor Kleiner features the baroque phenomenon in Roman architecture, in which the traditional vocabulary of architecture, consisting of columns and other conventional architectural elements, is manipulated to enliven building facades and inject them with dynamic motion. This baroque trend is often conspicuously ornamental and began to be deployed on the walls of forums and tombs in Italy already in the late first century A.D. But baroque architecture in Roman antiquity was foremost in the Greek East where high-quality marble and expert marble carvers made it the architectural mode of choice. At Petra in Jordan, tomb chambers were cut into cliffs and elaborate façades carved out of the living rock. The cities of Miletus and Ephesus in Asia Minor were adorned with gates and fountains and libraries and stage buildings that consisted of multi-storied columnar screens. The lecture culminates with the Sanctuary of Jupiter Heliopolitanus, a massive temple complex at Baalbek in Lebanon, with Temples of Jupiter and Bacchus in enormous scale and with extreme embellishment, and the Temple of Venus with an undulating lintel that foreshadows the curvilinear flourishes of Francesco Borromini's S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane in seventeenth-century Rome.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the great buildings and engineering marvels of Rome and its empire, with an emphasis on urban planning and individual monuments and their decoration, including mural painting. While architectural developments in Rome, Pompeii, and Central Italy are highlighted, the course also provides a survey of sites and structures in what are now North Italy, Sicily, France, Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and North Africa. The lectures are illustrated with over 1,500 images, many from Professor Kleiner's personal collection.

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