108 Pages

Squares and Streets

ByChristian Elling

The way Cardinal Ottoboni celebrated Innocent Kill's accession was by erecting a magnificent concert theatre in front of La Cancelleria, and the square seemed to have come into its own. The Roman squares experienced one benefit and gala performance after the other, performed in changing settings. A touchstone for the sculptural character of the Roman street is its frequent connection with great monuments. In the numerous instances where short streets form a sharp angle by converging, Baroque tends to reduce the angle, as at other house corners, by chamfering or recessing. The foundations of the city might undulate under the old districts, but the houses lining the streets were all on the same plane. Late Baroque and Rococo rendered it particularly easy to instil into the street shrines that sweet cheerfulness which made simple people rejoice to the heavens.