- Louise Rice
(fl Rome, 1620).
Italian jurist and amateur architect . A learned dilettante active during the reign of Pope Paul V, he wrote and illustrated a series of proposals for the improvement and embellishment of St Peter’s, Rome. His Discorso was composed in 1620, and in 1623, following the election of Urban VIII, his designs were published at the expense of his nephew Simone Bartoli in a set of four engravings by Matthäus Greuter. Bartoli proposed the construction of an elaborate pontifical choir in the crossing of St Peter’s, to be built in the form of a navicella (a ship symbolic of the Church) and to encompass within its complex iconography the tomb of the Apostles, the papal high altar and the chair of St Peter. He also advocated transforming St Peter’s from a three-aisled to a five-aisled basilica by modifying the chapels on either side of the nave; demolishing the attic storey of Carlo Maderno’s façade in order to restore a view of Michelangelo’s drum and dome; and regularizing the piazza in front of the church by means of a vast three-storey arcuated portico built on an elongated rectangular plan. Bartoli’s projects, costly and impractical, were never executed and are chiefly of interest as precedents to Bernini’s great works at St Peter’s....