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Longhi Family

Longhi Family. Group of architects who worked mostly in Rome in C16 and C17. Martino Longhi the Elder (c.1534–91) appears to have settled in Rome c.1569, where he worked for the Papacy, notably at the Vatican and Quirinal Palaces, the rebuilding of the portico of Santa Maria Maggiore (1575), and the new campanile on the Palazzo del Senatore (1578). He designed the well-mannered but unadventurous façade of San Girolamo degli Schiavoni (1588–9). His son, Onorio (c.1568–1619), who seems to have been an odd character, fled Rome in 1606 for his part in a murder, and returned in 1611 after a Papal Pardon. He designed the huge Church of Santi Ambrogio e Carlo al Corso (1612–19), completed by his son, Martino the Younger (1602–60), the most gifted of the tribe, who designed Sant'Antonio dei Portoghesi (1630–8), with its lively façade. It was as a designer of church-fronts that the younger Martino excelled, and his masterpiece is the façade of Santi Vincenzo ed Anastasio (1646–50). He introduced three new features to Roman Mannerism: detached columns accentuating unhesitant verticality; the mixing of triangular, segmental, open-topped, and open-bedded pediments; and the layering of planes, with the scrolls merging with other sculpture as part of scenographic effects. The assured rhetoric of Roman Baroque had arrived.


Arco (ed.) (1972);
J. Hess (ed.) (1934);
Koksa (1971);
Pascoli (1965);
Placzek (ed.) (1982);
Jane Turner (1996);
Varriano (1986);
Wittkower (1982)

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