Guarino Guarini

Camillo Guarino Guarini (17 January 1624 – 6 March 1683) was an Italian architect of the Piedmontese Baroque, active in Turin as well as Sicily, France, and Portugal.

Guarino Guarini
Guarino Guarini.jpg
Born(1624-01-17)17 January 1624
Died6 March 1683(1683-03-06) (aged 59)

He was a Theatine priest, mathematician, and writer.[1][2]


Guarini was born in Modena. He was accepted as a Theatine novice in 1639, spent his novitiate at the monastery of San Silvestro al Quirinale in Rome, where he studied architecture, theology, philosophy and mathematics.[3] He returned to Modena in 1647, where he was ordained in 1648. He rose quickly in the Theatine hierarchy, becoming first auditor, then superintendent of works, treasurer, lecturer in philosophy, procuratore, and finally provost in 1654. Prince Alfonso supported another candidate and Guarini was soon replaced and had to leave Modena. The next few years are poorly documented. He became a member of the Theatine House of Parma in 1656 and apparently visited Prague and Lisbon before publishing his play La Pietà trionfante in Messina in 1660, where he was a lecturer in mathematics.[4]

He wrote four mathematical books[1] in both Latin and Italian, of which Euclides adauctus is a work on descriptive geometry. In 1665, he published a mathematical-philosophical tract Placita Philosophica defending the geocentric universe against Copernicus and Galileo.[2]

The Carignano Palace in Turin

He designed a large number of public and private buildings in Turin, including the palaces of Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy[5] (as well as his sister Louise Christine of Savoy), the Royal Church of San Lorenzo (1666–1680), most of the Chapel of the Holy Shroud (housing the Shroud of Turin; begun in 1668 by Amedeo di Castellamonte), the Palazzo Carignano (1679–85), the Castle of Racconigi and many other public and ecclesiastical buildings at Modena, Messina, Verona, Vienna, Prague, Lisbon, and Paris. The Palazzo Carignano is regarded as one of the finest urban palaces of the second half of the 17th century in Italy.[1] Guarini appears to have been influenced by Borromini. Between 1657 and 1659 he stayed in Spain, where he studied Moorish buildings; this influenced the style of some of his buildings in Turin. In 1660 he settled in Messina.[3]

Guarini died in Milan. In architecture, his successors include Filippo Juvarra, and Juvarra's pupil Bernardo Vittone. The latter published Guarini's designs in Architettura Civile in 1737.[1]


Compendio della sfera celeste, 1675
  • Church of the Somascian Order (Messina, unbuilt project)
  • Facade of Santissima Annunziata and adjacent Theatine palace (Messina, destroyed in 1908 earthquake)
  • Sainte Anne le Royale (1662, destroyed 1823)
  • Santa Maria della Divina Providenca (Lisbon, destroyed by the 1755 earthquake)[1]
  • San Filippo Neri (completed by Juvarra)
  • Compendio della sfera celeste (in Italian). Torino: Giorgio Colonna. 1675.
  • Leges temporum, et planetarum quibus civilis, et astronomici temporis lapsus primi mobilis, et errantium decursus ordinantur atque in tabulas digeruntur ad longitudinem Taurinensem gr. 30.46' et latitudinem gr. 44.49' (in Latin). Torino: eredi Carlo Giannelli. 1678.
  • Colegio dei Nobili (1678, Turin)
  • Chapel of the Holy Shroud (1668–94, Turin)
  • Royal Church of San Lorenzo (1668–87, Turin)
  • Castle of Racconigi (1676–84, Racconigi)
  • Palazzo Carignano (1679–85, Turin)
  • La Consolate (restored later by others)

References in modern cultureEdit

Guarino Guarini is the subject of a composition, Guarini, the Master, written in 2004 by Italian composer Lorenzo Ferrero.


  1. ^ a b c d e Guarino Guarini. Encyclopædia Britannica on-line
  2. ^ a b O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Guarino Guarini", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews
  3. ^ a b Lawrence Gowing, ed., Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists, v.2 (Facts on File, 2005): 291.
  4. ^ Meek, H.A. (1988). Guarino Guarini and his Architecture. Yale. pp. 6–11, 19. ISBN 0-300-04748-7.
  5. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Guarini, Camillo-Guarino" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 659.

Further readingEdit

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