Pietro da Cortona and Roman Baroque Architecture

Jörg M. Merz incorporating a draft by Anthony Blunt

View Inside Price: $110.00

September 23, 2008
376 pages, 9 x 11
220 b/w + 20 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300111231

Out of Print

At first a successful painter of the Roman Baroque, Pietro (Berrettini) da Cortona (1597-1669) soon emerged as an architect of equal stature. This book is the first to focus full attention on Cortona's buildings and projects and to assess his position in Roman Baroque architecture.


The book discusses Cortona's major commissions, particularly SS. Luca e Martina, the Villa del Pigneto, S. Maria della Pace, and S. Maria in Via Lata, as well as the designs that remained unbuilt, such as his plans for the Palazzo Pitti in Florence and the Louvre in Paris. Cortona's great decorative cycles, including Palazzo Barberini, the Chiesa Nuova, and others are also considered as part of his stunning vocabulary of architectural decoration. The book explores Cortona's relationships and rivalries with other outstanding Roman architects to illuminate the competitive climate in which he worked, and it concludes with a review of his influence and reputation into the twentieth century.


Jörg M. Merz is Privatdozent in history of art, University of Augsburg, Germany, and a Cortona scholar of international renown. The late Anthony Blunt was director of the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. His book Art and Architecture in France, 1500-1700 was published by Yale University Press.

"This highly anticipated monograph . . . provides a much-needed and thorough assessment of Pietro da Cortona's architectural career, which until now has been overshadowed by both Corton's work as a painter and the architectural careers of Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini. . . . No monographic study of Cortona has been published in English until now. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice

“A fine piece of old-school scholarship.” - Keith Miller, Times Literary Supplement

"...Merz's work is a model of thoroghness and scolarly argument as he constructs Cortona's architectural oeuvre."—Patricia Waddy, Renaissance Quarterly