More than forty years of work were invested in the construction of this Roman palace since it was commissioned Gianlorenzo Bernini back in the year 1650, but it was not finished until 1694, and by then the works were directed by the architect Carlo Fontana, since Bernini had been dead for fourteen years.
Bernini's Montecitori Palace
This is one of the great palaces of Rome due to its importance in public life. It was initially commissioned by Pope Innocent X, of the Ludovisi family, which is why it was initially known as Ludovisi Palace and was a large urban building, private and artistocratic. But later it became the seat of the Papal Curia, and from 1871, after a transformation of its interior, it became the seat of the Italian parliamentarians.
Bernini, great architect of theBaroque although more famous for his sculptures such as The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa or his figures from the Vatican as Saint Longinus. By the way, in theSt. Peter's Basilica in the Vaticanis the work of his that best exemplifies his concept of the union of the arts, since his Baldachin is at the same time an architectural work and sculptural
Regarding the influences for this palace, without a doubt one of the most evident is not Baroque, but Renaissance. It is the Farnese Palace that he designedAntonio Sangallo and then modified Miguel Ángel. But Bernini, based on this model, creates a more dynamic building, conceiving its façade in five different sections, and giving them rhythm with the variations in the number of windows in each section. Seven windows in the central module, six in the two bodies that surround it, and three at the ends.
In addition, the entire line of the façade has a convex disposition, which gives it grace due to its curvature, but on an enormous monumental packaging, at the same time that it relates it to its surroundings.
The entire ground floor of the façade acts as if it were an immense plinth, which supports the noble floors.
The differentiation between the center of the façade and the rest is very common in Italian palatial architecture of the 17th century. Here it not only has a considerable width and with a greater number of openings than in the lateral bodies, but it is also more advanced with respect to the line of the entire complex. And as if that were not enough, it has a top finish that gives it more height and gives it all its prominence, emphasizing that this is the entrance area to the building. It also has a balcony, which curiously Bernini with his criteria as a sculptor considered that it would have to be supported by the figures of great Atlanteans, however Fontana replaced those possible sculptures by columns.