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1627 Barberini commissioned Carlo Maderno the construction of a new residence the architect was assisted by Francesco Borromini, a young relative. Maderno designed an imposing building with a long façade; because of the sloping ground he then modified the initial project by reducing the length of the façade and by adding two wings. At the time of the death of Maderno in 1629, the Barberini asked Gian Lorenzo Bernini, a member of their inner circle, to finalize the construction of their…

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Palazzo Barberini Façade: view from the left wing Bernini worked with the assistance of Borromini and thus it is not always evident what was designed by Maderno, by Bernini or by Borromini; the small windows on the second floor and the coat of arms are generally attributed to Borromini.

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The caption below the etching says Piazza Palestrini o Barberini, because the Barberini had the title of Princes of Palestrina, a town in the Roman countryside. In the right lower corner of the plate Vasi shows an obelisk which was not in the square, but near the entrance to Palazzo Barberini. The obelisk was found in 1570 outside Porta Maggiore in an area which was part of a residence built by Emperor Heliogabalus; in 1633 it was relocated to Palazzo Barberini by order of Pope Urban VIII.

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Fontana del Tritone: details of its lower part

Fontana del Tritone The fountain is one of Gian Lorenzo Bernini's masterpieces; it was commissioned in 1642 by Pope Urban VIII. Bernini was paid with the right to a supply of water from Acqua Felice, which the architect used for two houses he bought nearby; the supply which exceeded his needs was resold to other landlords. The spout was much higher than it is today