Guarino Guarini’s daring domes

Looking at Guarino Guarini’s domes from the ground, “you have the illusion of an almost infinite distance, of an endless progression in a space flooded with light.”

Guarini (Modena 1624 – Milan 1983) was an architect, philosopher and mathematician, as well as a priest of the Theatine Order. He designed extraordinary settings in which he “made the infinity of space tangible by repeating shapes; and further reiterated it by turning domes into free, open structures” (in the words of art historians Harold Alan Meek and Giulio Carlo Argan).

Guarini’s architectural inventions are most often described as “bold” and “daring”: one look at the Baroque vault ceilings created by the Italian architect and you will understand why his contemporaries nicknamed him “the straight line’s mortal enemy”.

Here is a selection of the dizzying heights of his talent.

Guarino Guarini, Cappella della Sacra Sindone, Torino - Chapel of the Holy Shroud, Turin

The Chapel of the Holy Shroud, Turin, 17th century

Guarino Guarini, Cappella della Sacra Sindone, Torino - Chapel of the Holy Shroud, Turin

The Chapel of the Holy Shroud, Turin, 17th century

Guarino Guarini, Real Chiesa di San Lorenzo, Torino - Royal Church of San Lorenzo, Turin

Royal Church of San Lorenzo, Turin, 1668-1687

Guarino Guarini, Real Chiesa di San Lorenzo, Torino - Royal Church of San Lorenzo, Turin

Royal Church of San Lorenzo, Turin, 1668-1687

Guarino Guarini, Real Chiesa di San Lorenzo, Torino

Royal Church of San Lorenzo, Turin, 1668-1687

Guarino Guarini, Chiesa dell'Immacolata Concezione, Torino - Church of the Immaculate Conception, Turin

Church of the Immaculate Conception, Turin, 1675-1677

Guarino Guarini, Chiesa dell'Immacolata Concezione, TorinoGuarino Guarini, Chiesa di Santa Maria in Araceli, Vicenza, 1680 - Church of Santa Maria in Araceli

Guarino Guarini, Church of Santa Maria in Araceli, Vicenza, 1680

Guarino Guarini, Santuario della Consolata, Torino, XVII secolo - Consolata Sanctuary, Turin, 17th century

Consolata Sanctuary, Turin, 17th century

Guarino Guarini, Palazzo Carignano, Torino, 1679-1685 - Turin

Palazzo Carignano, Turin, 1679-1685

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