somewhere between Michaelangelo and Maderno
In S. Pietro, there is a moment where we find the meeting between Michelangelo and Carlo Maderno… a place where the two seem to effortlessly speak to each other. Far from two opposed and opposing voices, they seem to effortlessly merge their distinctly different architectural languages. In the church as a whole, the two seem to speak with a single voice even though they stand at such a great distance apart in time and thinking. Michelangelo, afterall, is situated in the time of architectural Mannerism at the tail end of what we call the Renaissance (mid 1500s), and Maderno, practiced in that period following the Council of Trent when the Baroque was being fashioned (~1600).
What I find so compelling here is how the younger architect clearly acknowledges his master (S. Pietro was the “school” for most of the leading architects of the Baroque)… and yet, there is a shift. The world was indeed different… it had changed. Science seemed to emerge from behind its veil of belief; Catholicism sought its own reformation and reaffirmation; economics and politics followed an elliptical course; discoveries in the new world challenged the current model of thought… And there, at the meeting place between the central, stable, Renaissance order, and the dynamic tensions that characterized the Baroque – between the abstract and the conceptual; between the rational and the emotive – the two found one voice.