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Borra, Giovanni Battista

Borra, Giovanni Battista (1713–70). Piedmontese architect and draughtsman, a pupil of Vittone, and known as Il Torquelino. He accompanied Robert Wood (1716–71) and James Dawkins (1722–57) on their expedition to Asia Minor (1750–1) as a draughtsman: he was in England from 1751 and prepared drawings for The Ruins of Palmyra (1753) and The Ruins of Balbec (1757). He was probably the designer (1755) of the main rooms in the Duke of Norfolk's house in St James's Square (by Brettingham) which had motifs derived from the Antique remains at Palmyra mixed with Italian Rococo themes. Similar devices occur in the Racconigi Palace, Turin (1756–7), and also in Stratfield Saye, Hants., and Stowe, Bucks. Borra redecorated the State Bedroom and Dressing Room at Stowe and Neo-Classicized several garden-buildings there (he made designs for the Temple of Concord and Victory, and altered the Rotunda (1752), the Boycott Pavilions (1758), the Oxford Gate (c.1760), and the Lake Pavilions (c.1761)). He was a member of the expedition (1764–6) that led to the publication of Ionian Antiquities in 1769.

Bibliography

Colvin (1995);
E. Harris (1990);
Zoller (1996)

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