Francesco Borromini(1599-1667) projected the Oratorian institute in Rome, and his design of The Second Courtyard
is represented in an engraving by Domenicio Barrière(ca. 1610/20-1678), an engraver and Borromini's reliable collaborator. This engraving is one of the illustrations in the book of Roma ricercata
...(1658), by fruitful Fioravante Martinelli(1599-1667), also Borromini's collaborator, and close friend. So, by examination of this engraving it is possible to understand Borromini's intention of The Second Courtyard
First, comparing with the section-perspective of The Second Courtyard
in Opus architectonicum
, two figures differ widely in that the 3rd story is totally eliminated in Barrière's engraving. But by making CG model, it is confirmed that the 3rd story in the front seems clearly from the view-point, and the roof top is recognizable on the lateral sides. It is considered that the modification in the engraving reflects Borromini's opinion to express his original idea of the giant order distinctively, to remove a pile of horizontal lines, and to emphasize the concentration of the courtyard. In addition, many piers of arcade make the image of the space so profound, but the front facade of the north side isn't accommodated to its interval and it is depicted more highly. Consequently, it seems that the facade of the giant order has much more scale and vigor than the actual one.
Secondly, from the viewpoint of the perspective, the vanishing point is assumed not to be on one point, but to be on the vertical line, with a certain extent in the composition. Judging from the engraving of San Giovannni in Laterano, depicted also by Barrière 4 years before The Second Courtyard
, it is recognized that the difference of the vanishing point is not the cause of Barriere's immaturity of the skill. He dared to do it, and the purpose is that the height of the central facade appears sufficiently high without the 3rd story, and also the giant order looks high and vigorous.
About The Second Courtyard
, Martinelli described it as an attractive spot in Rome with his guidance. And also Virgilio Spada(1596-1662), who was a directive Oratorian for the project and the collaborator of Borromini on Opus architectonicum
, praised the giant order borrowed from Michelangelo's Palazzo dei Conservatori. In the engraving, Borromini's The Second Courtyard
is surrounded by the two-story house with a flat roof, like Michelangelo's Palazzo dei Conservatori in the Piazza Campidoglio. Borromini mentioned the name of Michelangelo to defend his innovative design, and his own creativity as an architect, not as an executor of the ornament. He intended to efface the image of the design of the predecessor Paolo Maruscelli. Moreover, Borromini planned the splendid courtyard as a spacious oasis in the crowded city of Rome, by simple giant order, not by a terrace with some layers.
Moreover Barrière executed 3 engravings about another project of Borromini, Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza in the same time with The Second Courtyard
. Considering them from the viewpoint of the perspective, it is recognized that in only one case in which the courtyard and the temple are depicted, the vanishing point is also be assumed vertical line, with a certain extent in the composition. As a result, the symbolic temple is represented more highly and definitely, although it is in the end of the profound courtyard. So, the ingenious church designed by Borromini looks magnificent. In this case, Barrière also operated his perspective technique to represent the forceful space and architecture designed by Borromini.